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 98.6 Degrees Is a Normal Body Temperature, Right? Not Quite

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PostSubject: 98.6 Degrees Is a Normal Body Temperature, Right? Not Quite   Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:18 pm

You wake up at 6 am feeling achy and chilled. Unsure if you’re sick or just sleep-deprived, you reach for a thermometer. It beeps at 99°F, so you groan and roll out of bed and get ready for work. Because that’s not a fever. Is it?



Yes, it is. Forget everything you know about normal body temperature and fever, starting with 98.6. That’s an antiquated number based on a flawed study from 1868 (yes, 150 years ago). The facts about fever are a lot more complicated.

First, there’s no single number for normal. It’s slightly higher for women than men. It’s higher for children than adults. And it is lowest in the morning.

"A temperature of 99 at six o’clock in the morning is very abnormal, whereas that same temperature at four o’clock in the afternoon can be totally normal," says Jonathan Hausmann, a rheumatologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who gathered 11,458 temperatures in crowdsourced research using an iPhone app called Feverprints.

The study, published online this month in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, refutes the age-old benchmark of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead, Hausmann and his colleagues found an average normal temperature in adults of 97.7 degrees, as measured with an oral thermometer. (The published study uses results from 329 healthy adults.) As for fever, Hausmann found that it begins at 99.5 degrees, on average.

https://www.wired.com/story/98-degrees-is-a-normal-body-temperature-right-not-quite/
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