There is a lot of confusion since the 19th century result stated by the German physician Dr Carl Wunderlich on what is normal body temperature for a person. While he stated that 37 degree Celsius (°C) or 98.6 Degree Fahrenheit (°F) as the normal temperature, with the passage of time, doctors stated otherwise. They claimed that the normal body temperature which is otherwise called as normothermia or euthermia and especially in the doctor’s circle is 36.8 °C with a few changes around the last decimal to 0.4 °C. This is an equivalent of 98.2 °F with a correction of 0.7 °F to the last decimal.
Factors influencing the reading
The range of the temperature can range widely based on the place where the thermometer is placed to take the temperature. A thermometer is a device that is used to take the internal body temperature of a person without getting affected largely from the outside environment. But this can also affect the reading hugely if a person does not take good care on handling the thermometer. For example, if a person keeps the thermometer on an ice bucket filled with ice and directly keeps it under the tongue of a person to take the reading, then the actual temperature reading can be affected. Apart from this, if they place the thermometer without ensuring that the mercury is at 0 °F, then there is a probability of a faulty reading. Also, the same issue can occur when the manufacturing firm does not calibrate the thermometer properly. Apart from this, if they place the instrument to a different person without shaking them effectively to ensure the position of the mercury to the lowest value, even then, chances of a wrong temperature can be obtained. Thus the question of what is normal body temperature will be different when the temperature is noted during these times.
Apart from this, the gender of the person, their age, the location that they are in along with the time of the day the reading is noted, activity that they had been doing before taking the reading, and also the place where the thermometer is placed on the human to take the reading can also have a huge impact on the reading of the body temperature. Reason is that, as people get older their body temperatures gradually decrease compared to the standard temperature for a person. What might be a normal temperature for a young adult can actually be a high fever for the elderly people? Also, men are more prone to having a higher temperature than women and hence even this can have an impact on the normal temperature for a person. The place and activity done by a person can also have a huge impact. For example, people who work as chefs have a huge chance of having a higher temperature even if they feel that they are normal. Hence, considering all such factors that are mentioned above, doctors of this era have concluded that the normal body temperature for a person could range from 36.5 °C – 37.5 °C or 97.7 °F – 99.5 °F.