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
Could it be coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A high temperature could be COVID-19.
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.
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
Advice for children
This page is for adults. For advice about children, see fever in children.