How To Take Your Temperature
A thermometer is the only way to know that you have a fever. Touch tests and skin pinching arent reliable. Rectal thermometers, which go into your rear end, are the most accurate, but they can be uncomfortable. Armpit, ear, and forehead thermometers arent as accurate. Most doctors think an oral thermometer — which you hold under your tongue — is best. Dont use an old glass thermometer. These contain mercury, which is dangerous.
Before you use an oral thermometer, wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dont eat or drink anything for at least 5 minutes before you take your temperature. Put the tip of the thermometer under your tongue. Keep your mouth closed. After about 30 or 40 seconds, the thermometer will beep. That means the final reading is ready. Oral thermometer temperatures are about 1/2 to 1 degree cooler than rectal ones, so add that much to your reading. When youre done, rinse the thermometer in cold water, clean it with alcohol, and rinse again.
If you have a child younger than 3, a rectal thermometer may be easier and more accurate. Put a small amount of lubricant like petroleum jelly on its tip. Have your child lie on their belly, and insert the thermometer into their bottom until the tip is completely inside. Dont force it. When you hear the beep, after about 30 seconds, remove it. Check it and then clean it again.
Emergency Warning Signs For Worsening Coronavirus
In addition to watching for signs of dehydration while treating a fever at home, watch for these emergency warning signs of worsening symptoms from COVID-19, according to the CDC:
- Bluish color on lips or face
- New confusion or trouble waking up
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Trouble breathing
What To Know About Fever And Covid
Here, the best ways to treat a rising temperature, and how to know when it could signal an emergency
When it comes to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, it turns out not much is simple. Not even fever.
Yes, it’s clear that a fever, along with fatigue and a dry cough, is a hallmark of the infection. But how high, exactly, is too high? What should you do if your temperature spikes? How do you know when you need medical help?
As someone who has reported on healthcare for years, I thought the answers to these questions would be relatively straightforward. But after speaking to experts, I came to learn that in the context of COVID-19, how to respond to fever varies based on the person and the circumstance.
Heres what you need to know.
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Can You Have Coronavirus Without A Fever
Yes, you can be infected with the coronavirus and have a cough or other symptoms with no fever, or a very low-grade one, especially in the first few days. Keep in mind that it is also possible to have COVID-19 with minimal or even no symptoms at all. People infected with the coronavirus who have no symptoms can still spread COVID-19 to others.
What Will The Doctor Or Nurse Do
The doctor or nurse will ask you about the person’s symptoms. They may look into other reasons why they have a high temperature, such as a urinary infection. They can also talk about their treatment options and wishes. They may discuss things like where they would prefer to be cared for and what treatments and care are suitable.
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Managing Fever In Adults With Possible Or Confirmed Covid
Sophie Park, Jon Brassey, Carl Heneghan and Kamal Mahtani
19th March 2020
Verdictthe current evidence does not support routine antipyretic administration to treat fever in acute respiratory infections and COVID-19.
Many protocols and professionals advise patients to self-medicate for Covid-19 using antipyretics . The rapid and widespread purchase of antipyretic medication over-the-counter has led to temporary shortages.
What is a fever?
A common symptom of Covid, influenza and sometimes other viral upper respiratory tract infections is fever. Reports of the pattern of Covid symptoms suggest that fever is most common an average 5 days after exposure. The range of normal temperatures depends on the site
|Site of measurement|
|> 1.1 over baseline|
A review of normal body temperature in adults including studies from 1935-1999 concluded the range of normal oral temperature was 35.6 c to 38.2 c. The American College of Critical Care Medicine and Infectious Disease Society define fever as core body temperature greater or equal to 38.3 c. NICE consider an infant or child has a fever if their temperature is 38°C or higher.
A systematic review of normal body temperature found that older adults had a lower temperature than younger adults by 0.23°C, on average.
What are the benefits of a fever?
- An individuals ability to mount a febrile response has been shown to be a good prognostic sign in critically unwell patients ,
What are the indications for taking an antipyretic in Covid-19?
Face Masks In Workplaces
Pandemic Orders made by the Victorian Minister for Health about face masks are in place across Victoria. For more information see the guidance Managing COVID-19 risks: Face masks in workplaces.
Employers should ask employees before they enter the workplace if they:
- have any COVID-19 symptoms
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If You’re Unwell Don’t Go Out
According to Khairy, the reasoning behind the SOP change is that MOH has found that temperature screenings and the use of logbooks don’t have any effect on curbing the spread of COVID-19 infections.”The advice is that if you are unwell or showed symptoms, don’t go out. We don’t need to test everyone’s temperature anymore. You can be sick and not have COVID-19. It doesn’t prove that you have COVID-19. I think we have reached the stage where we can do away with it,” he added.
What Exactly Counts As A Fever
According to the US National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus resource, a fever is technically a higher-than-normal body temperature. That normal body temperature can vary from person to person but is usually about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a reading of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit a fever. While an actual temperature reading is the best diagnostic tool for fevers, the CDC also says it considers a fever to be present when a person feels hot to the touch, has previously reported feeling feverish , or looks flushed or glassy-eyed.
Jill Grimes, MD, FAAFP, a board-certified family physician at UT Austin’s Student Health Services, adds that there are also different ranges and severities of fevers. A low-grade fever, for example, is used to describe a body temperature that is elevated above normal, but is not above or is just barely above the fever threshold. “So roughly 99 degrees to 100.9 degrees,” she says, adding that that’s “not a true fever.”
“In general, when physicians hear that your measured temp is above 101, it catches our attention, meaning we are looking for an infection,” says Dr. Grimes. The American Academy of Family Physicians adds that temperatures of 103 degrees or above are considered high fevers and can signal a potentially dangerous infection that needs medical treatment ASAP.
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When To Call A Doctor
If your temperature is between 100 and 102, drink plenty of fluids and rest. You can take a fever reducer if you like.
If you have a fever with a cough or shortness of breath and think you might have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, call your doctor to talk about the next steps.
Always call your doctor if you have any kind of fever along with a severe headache, a stiff neck, throat swelling, or confusion. They may be signs of a serious condition, such as strep throat or meningitis.
Even if you dont have these symptoms, your doctor may tell you to take your temperature at certain times, like first thing in the morning or at night. You can record the readings and report back.
How Are My Occupational Health And Safety Obligations Impacted By The Restrictions
There is no change to your obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 as a result of the Pandemic Orders issued by the Victorian Minister for Health.
Preparation of a COVIDSafe Plan forms part of the development of a safe system of work. However, having a COVIDSafe Plan and complying with the Victorian Pandemic Orders does not necessarily mean you have complied with all of your duties under the OHS Act and OHS Regulations.
You must follow any Pandemic Orders that apply to how your business must operate, and ensure that you are meeting your obligations under the OHS Act. Employees must also comply with their duties under the OHS Act.
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What To Do If You Don’t Have A Thermometer
One of the issues confronting people during this outbreak is that many physical and online stores are sold out of thermometers.
If you dont have one, the CDC says that a fever may be considered to be present if a person . . . feels warm to the touch or gives a history of feeling feverish. In other words, Moms method of placing the back of her hand on your forehead may be a decent fallback. But given the contagiousness of this coronavirus, remember to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
And dont worry if you dont have someone at home who can do a touch check of your forehead. Schmidt notes most adults are fairly good at gauging when theyre feeling hot and unwell.
You could also look in the mirror. The CDC states that the appearance of a flushed face, glassy eyes, or chills could indicate a fever.
As a last resort, if you have a meat thermometer , you could experiment by placing it under your tongue to get a general sense of your temperature, and whether its going up or down. Though the method is certainly unorthodox, and not specifically recommended, I asked two doctors to test it out and they kindly obliged.
Schmidt says that her meat thermometer read about the same as an oral thermometer over three takes, but was 1 to 1.5 degrees lower than a temporal artery reading via her forehead. Nanos also humored my request and says that her meat thermometer is too variable, and the temperature drops as soon as you start pulling it out of your mouth.
Causes And Symptoms Of A Fever
It is essential to understand why a fever occurs and what the early symptoms that accompany a fever are to properly seek treatment, either at home or with medical assistance. There are numerous causes, so pinpointing the exact cause is not always easy. However, having a general understanding should give you an idea as to the severity of the fever.
Here are the most common causes of a fever:
- Bacterial infection
- A reaction to a medication
- Heat exhaustion
In some instances, the cause of the fever is quite evident, such as if you are suffering from a heat stroke or have recently received a vaccination. However, fevers can often occur seemingly out of nowhere and with little to no warning signs. In these instances, it is likely that the cause is either a bacterial or viral infection. Additionally, individuals with cancer may run an increased risk of suffering from a fever. Also, certain medications may cause a fever, although it is rare that this is the case.
Along with the fever which is typically a symptom in and of itself there are several other symptoms to be mindful of that often show up alongside a fever. Here are the most common symptoms of a fever:
- Muscle aches
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Emergency Warning Signs Of Severe Covid
If you or someone in your family is experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency room right away and let the operator know that you are calling for someone who might have COVID-19:
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake up or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
There are other possible symptoms of COVID-19: Call your doctor or health care center for any symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Is Coronavirus Airborne?
How Are Coronavirus Symptoms Different From Allergy Symptoms What About Flu Colds And Strep Throat
COVID-19 shares symptoms with other conditions such as allergies, the flu or strep throat. It may be very hard to tell the difference between COVID-19 and flu without a test.
If you have symptoms that might be due to the coronavirus, contact a health care provider, describe your symptoms and follow their recommendations.
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Can Temperature Checks Help Prevent The Spread Of Covid
Temperature checks are often used to screen for COVID-19 in the community. Non-contact or no-touch forehead thermometers are quick and easy to use. However, they are not always accurate. Also, people can have the virus and spread COVID-19 without having a fever. Temperature screenings should always be part of other COVID-19 prevention steps including wearing face masks, physical distancing, and hand washing. If you think you might have a fever or have any other symptoms, stay home.
Follow These Steps If Your Symptoms Are Mild
Mild symptoms of COVID-19 can be like a cold and include:
- Low-grade fever
- Nasal congestion
- Mild body aches
If these are your symptoms:
Its important to treat all mild respiratory symptoms as a possible case of the new coronavirus, says Dr. Arnold. Stay home and away from others so you dont spread the virus, and monitor your symptoms until you feel better.
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Coronavirus : General Advice
Coronavirus is the illness caused by a strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan city, China. It can cause a new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste .
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
This is a rapidly changing situation which is being monitored carefully.
What Is The Fever Range For Covid
There are no specific fever ranges for COVID-19. Generally, 100.4°F is used to say whether or not someone has fever. However, this number is just a guideline. In addition, fever by itself is not a reliable symptom of COVID-19. According to available data, less than half of people who tested positive for COVID-19 reported fever as a symptom. It is also important to remember that children tend to have milder and shorter duration of COVID-19 symptoms, including fever. But this does not mean that children dont spread the virus.
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What About A Cough
If you have a cold or flu you may well have a cough, along with other symptoms.
Flu usually comes on suddenly and sufferers will often experience muscle aches, chills, headaches, tiredness, a sore throat and a runny or stuffed nose, along with the cough. It feels worse than a heavy cold.
Colds tend to develop more gradually and are less severe, although they do still make you feel unwell. Along with a cough, there may be sneezing and a sore throat and runny nose. Fever, chills, muscle aches and headaches are rare.
A coronavirus cough means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing fits or “episodes” in 24 hours.
If you usually have a cough because of a long-standing medical condition like COPD, it may be worse than usual.
You should get tested for coronavirus if you develop a new, continuous cough.
If I Get The Coronavirus Vaccine Will I Get Covid
No, the COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration cannot and will not give you COVID-19. The new coronavirus vaccines can cause side effects, since they activate your immune system, but this does not mean you are infected with the coronavirus or that you have COVID-19. As your immune system responds to the vaccine and learns to recognize and fight the coronavirus, fever, pain at the injection site and muscle aches are possible, but these are usually both mild and temporary. Learn more about the safety of the coronavirus vaccines.
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How Do You Treat A Post
While post-vaccine side effects tend to go away on their own after a few days, Dr. Jain says that there are ways to treat yourself if you’re in discomfort. “If the fever goes above 102 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be appropriate to use Tylenol to reduce fever,” he tells Bustle. You’ll also want to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and water. “Adequate hydration and rest can also be beneficial for patients experiencing post-vaccine fevers,” Dr. Jain says. Again, if you have any questions or concerns related to your personal health experience, giving your doctor a call is always encouraged. Otherwise, plan on taking it easy while your new immunity develops.
Dr. Sanjeev Jain, M.D., doctor double-board certified in immunology and internal medicine, Columbia Asthma and Allergy Clinic