Body temperatures is an early warning sign of infection.
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 can indicate that your body is fighting an infection. By regularly monitoring your body temperature and learning what is normal for you, you can immediately detect subtly higher temperatures.
This might be an early warning sign that you're about to get sick, so take immediate measures to protect others.This is critical for diseases like COVID-19 where you are contagious several days before showing any symptoms at all.
Experts recommend taking your temperature twice daily around the same time of day, once in the morning within 30 minutes of waking and again in the evening. For best results, use the same thermometer for each reading, avoid eating or drinking anything hot or cold for at least 15 minutes beforehand, and don't take your temperature immediately after exercising.
Be sure to follow all instructions for using and cleaning your specific thermometer. Track your temperature on a notepad, chart, or confidential tracking app so you can see your results over time and note any variations as soon as they appear. If you have a fever or notice any abnormalities based on your typical results, stay home, monitor your symptoms, and call a doctor if needed. If you must go out, be sure to wear a cloth face mask and stay at least six feet away from others.
By understanding your own individual body temperature, noticing changes that might indicate an infection, and taking immediate measures to prevent spreading it to others, you can help family, friends, and coworkers stay safe, healthy, and productive.
New coronavirus variants spark concerns
Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 are generating viral variants that change the properties of the virus and affect the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continued public testing urged during vaccine rollout
While Connecticut's vaccine rollout is progressing successfully, with the state ranking fifth nationally for the highest percent of the population vaccinated, continued public testing and caution are still more important than ever.
Novel antibody tests reveal complexity of immune response to covid-19
The interaction of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causing the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the human immune system has been the focus of intensive research.
Accelerating vaccine development
Watch our new Covid-19 animation to learn how vaccines work and why it can take so long to create new vaccines to fight Covid-19 and other diseases.
COVID-19 update: Where we are and where we need to be
JAX President and CEO Edison T. Liu, M.D., discussed the basic scientific facts of COVID-19, our journey toward a vaccine, potential long-term effects of the virus, and the post-COVID-19 world.
Protecting West Hartford's first responders
Rapid COVID-19 testing at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine is keeping West Hartford fire, rescue, and EMT teams healthy so they can safely help others.