# Re: What is the normal body temperature: 36.6 °C or 37 °C ?

Visa Inquirer wrote:
Let's say we only talk about the resting temperature.

I clearly remember from the time I grew up in the Former Soviet Union
that 36.6 °C was considered to be the normal underarm temperature. And
37 °C underarm temperature was considered to be a threshold for a
disease (like flu/cold/inflammation). Measurement was quit precise,
with an error of ± 0.1 °C, and 36.9 °C won't get you off from school
but 37 °C would. This "standard" was also very consistent with
observations. When I was healthy temperature was always below 37 °C.
When I got a flu -- almost for sure 37 °C or higher.

Now in US 37 °C is normally cited as a "normal" temperature.

37°C is considered the normal oral (mouth) temperature.

The normal axillary tempt is around 36.5 or 36.6°C.

So is this because they talk about intraoral or intraanal temperature?
Or is this a result of some kind of rounding or conversion error? Or
are there many ways to convert °C to F?

Actually, the original study that determined the normal oral temperature found it be about 36.8°C. This got rounded to 37°C, and converted to 98.6°F and converted back to 37°C. Go figure.

Anyway, the normal temperature isn't a number, but a range from about 36°C to 37°C. Temperature varies throughout the day. In the US, there are different cut-offs for when one has a fever, usually 100°F to 101°F or 38°C or 39°C (the numbers don't convert exactly).

One can have a high temperature like 38°C or even 39°C and not be sick, while one can be very sick without a high temperature.

The rectal temperature is usually about 0.5°C higher than and the underarm temper about 0.5°C lower than the intraoral temperature.

Jeff
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