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High temperature (fever) in adults

Coronavirus

A high temperature could be coronavirus (COVID-19).

Get advice about coronavirus symptoms and what to do

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. See how to take a temperature.

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

Stay at home if you have a high temperature. Do not go to places like a pharmacy or GP

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

If you're worried about your symptoms and need medical advice, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

Call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Advice for children

This page is for adults. For advice about children, see fever in children.

Page last reviewed: 6 April 2020
Next review due: 6 April 2023