The body's normal mouth temperature should be around 36.5 -37.5 degree centigrade.
Checking temperature is done using a thermometer, and it can also be measured under the armpits, where it will be 0.5 degrees lower and rectally where it will be 0.5 degrees higher. It is more usual and safer to measure children's temperature under the armpits, and now modern technology has produced a thermometer that can be placed in the ear.
A raised temperature is normally the sign of fever and infection. Raising the body's temperature is the body's defense mechanism kicking into action, trying to destroy the infection.
Fever makes you feel hot and shivery, and you may sweat. This is the body's way of trying to cool down. It is important that the body is maintained at an even temperature most of the time, as tissues and cells have been programmed to function at their optimum this way.
Some cells and chemicals within the cells will slowly deteriorate if the body temperature remains too high for too long. Energy is used up rapidly to maintain this high temperature, therefore it is important to control or reduce it quickly, to conserve energy to fight off the infection.
Wearing light clothing, taking tepid baths or being sponged is an ideal way of lowering temperature. Sometimes it is necessary to take paracetamol or aspirin to control and reduce a fever.
Fever is usually just one of the many symptoms which accompany an infection for example. If there are no obvious other symptoms and the raised temperature persists for more than 72 hours it would be advisable to seek medical attention as there are other illnesses which may cause a fever besides infections.
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