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Body temperature norms
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Body temperature norms
Normal body temperature varies by person, age, activity, and time of day. The average normal body temperature is generally accepted as 98.6°F (37°C). Some studies have shown that the “normal” body temperature can have a wide range, from 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C).
A temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) most often means you have a fever caused by an infection or illness.
Body temperature normally changes throughout the day.
COVID-19 coronavirus: how to self-isolate
If you or someone in your household develop symptoms of fever, new, continuous cough or loss of taste or smell, you should self-isolate and not leave your house for any reason. But what does this mean in practical terms?
Under COVID-19 restrictions across the UK, there are only limited circumstances in which we can go out into the community, such as shopping for essentials, exercise and to seek medical care. We are all being urged to stay at home as much as possible to minimise the spread of the virus.
However, if you develop symptoms of fever, lose your sense of smell or taste or develop a new, continuous cough, or you test positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate and not leave your house for any reason, unless you are told to by NHS 111 or the emergency services. The same applies if you’ve been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
What to do if you’re asked to self-isolate
You should self-isolate for ten days if you develop any symptoms of fever or a new cough, however mild, or if you test positive for COVID-19. If you live in a household with other people, everyone else must also isolate for ten days. Anyone who develops symptoms must isolate for ten days from the start of their symptoms, even if it means isolating for more than ten days in total. If you are told to self-isolate, you must:
- Stay at home or in your room as much as you can. Keep the windows open to improve ventilation.
- Not go to work, school or public areas. You should not go outside for a walk. You can use your garden as long as you remain two metres apart from other people.
- Not use public transport like buses, trains, tubes or taxis.
- Avoid all contact with others, including visitors to your home.
- Ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands on your behalf. This includes shopping, and getting medication and food.
Do not share utensils, bed linen, towels or other household items with others whilst isolating.
Any groceries or food which need to be delivered should be left outside your door to prevent face-to-face contact.
If you live with other people
If someone in your household develops symptoms, you must all self-isolate. To minimise the risk of passing it on to other people (especially older people, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women) you should take precautions to keep away from them. If possible, people in these risk groups should find somewhere else to stay and isolate for fourteen days.
If you can, use a separate bathroom to everyone else. If you are sharing a bathroom, you should:
- Use your own towels, including hand towels, toothbrushes and washcloths and keep them separate from the rest of the household.
- Clean the toilet and bathroom every time you have finished using them. If possible, create a rota for bathing or showering, make sure you go last and thoroughly clean afterwards.
If you share a kitchen:
- Avoid using it when others are present. Take turns to cook or use the kitchen.
- Clean the kitchen and any surfaces you have touched afterwards.
- Take your meals back to your room to eat.
- If you can, use separate utensils, cutlery and crockery (plates, glasses and bowls) to everyone else.
- If you have a dishwasher, use it to clean and dry your used cutlery and crockery – use a 60° cycle.
- If you don’t have a dishwasher, do your washing-up using warm water and your normal washing-up liquid. Dry items thoroughly afterwards using a separate tea towel.
Other people in your household should regularly and thoroughly wash their hands, avoid touching their faces and clean frequently touched surfaces. You can use your usual household products like detergents and bleach.
Tissues, disposable cleaning cloths, wipes and other personal waste should be stored in disposable rubbish bags, placed inside another bag and kept separate. You can put them in your normal outside bin after three days.
Any dirty laundry can be washed alongside other people’s items. However, if you don’t have your own washing machine, wait until three days after your isolation period ends to take them to a laundrette.
If you are pregnant or currently breastfeeding, you can take a look at the guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.Our picks for COVID-19 coronavirus: how to self-isolate
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