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Someone tell me what constitutes a fever. Everyone knows that a normal body temperature is 98.6°F. Or is it?
That number is a bit archaic, apparently. WAY back in the late 1800s, a study was done on 25,000 patients, and doctors found that the average normal body temperature was 98.6°.
This has been the gold standard by which we tell how sick a person really is.
Well, times have changed — as they tend to do.
There have been a couple dozen MODERN studies done on the topic of “normal” body temperatures, and it shows that this average is now much lower.
These studies have shown that the average “normal” body temperature is now 97.5°.
I’m a little shaken by this news. I have always gone off the old 98.6° scale when assessing the temperature of myself and my kids. My husband can fend for himself here. I joke.
I guess the new standard makes since, from a medical standpoint. Way back in the day, people used to work fields, walk everywhere they had to go, and were general more active*. Their Basic Metabolic temperature would have been a bit higher, to deal with all the moving and working.
Society has changed A LOT.
We simply don’t exist on a day-to-day basis like our relatives from the turn of the century lived. So, our bodies have adapted — I guess there was something to that evolution thing I learned in elementary school.
I suppose the prudent thing would be to check the average normal oral temperatures of my family over a period of time. This would help more accurately tell when they are sick and fevered.
As always, don’t take all your medical advice from me — although I am pretty darn smart. Check with your doctor next time you are there.
Did you ALSO know that you MAY need a new Measles Vaccine? Ask your doctor if you might need a titer test. Those born before 1990 may need another dose to keep the Measles at bay. I know I’ve had MY second vaccine. Better safe than sick.
*According to me.