Animation: Why is fever tracking important? Learn how to track your body temperature

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Narrator: Fever is one of your body's

first reactions to infection

and is common in illnesses like influenza and COVID-19.

Monitoring your body temperature,

even when you're healthy,

can help detect disease early

and help you know if it's okay to go to work or school.

Part of your brain called the hypothalamus

continually adjusts your body temperature

to maintain an optimal environment for your body functions.

Body temperatures vary with gender, age,

overall health, and environmental factors.

A normal temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit

although recent studies indicate a slightly lower average.

When your immune system detects

the presence of a virus in your body,

it signals the hypothalamus to turn up the heat,

creating a fever, a hot and hostile environment

that weakens the virus

and stimulates your immune response.

A temperature higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit