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Fever is the body's normal response to infection and other conditions, both minor and serious. Most fevers help the body fight infection.

The average normal body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C) orally. It can change during the day from a low of 97.4°F (36.3°C) in the morning to a high of 99.6°F (37.6°C) in the late afternoon. Mild elevations—(99.8°F (37.7°C)— can be caused by too much clothing, a hot bath, or hot weather.

Fever in a child is present when a child's temperature is 100.4°F (38°C) or higher measured rectally.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.