Overview

High temperature (fever) in adults

What is a high temperature?

Normal body temperature is different for everyone and changes during the day.

A high temperature is usually considered to be 38C or above. This is sometimes called a fever.

Many things can cause a high temperature, but it's usually caused by your body fighting an infection.

Check if you have a high temperature

You may have a high temperature if:

  • your chest or back feel hotter than usual
  • you have other symptoms, such as shivering (chills), sweating or warm, red skin
  • a thermometer says your temperature is 38C or above

Do I need to take my temperature?

You do not need to take your temperature using a thermometer, but you can if you have one.

Make sure you use it correctly to help get an accurate result.

Important

If you feel hot or shivery, you may have a high temperature even if a thermometer says your temperature is below 38C.

Treating a high temperature

It can help to:

  • get lots of rest
  • drink plenty of fluids (water is best) to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable


The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website nhs.uk
Last Updated: 06/12/2021 16:12:00