Are you taking your temperature correctly?


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As people monitor themselves for any symptoms of COVID-19, thermometers are getting used a lot more than usual.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many people have been familiarizing themselves with the different symptoms to watch for.

One of those symptoms is a fever.

“So 100, or 100.4 is the recommendation from CDC that would be definitely for you to leave your place of work and then to follow up with your provider,” Julie Meyer said.

Julie Meyer, the manager of infection prevention at Sanford Health says while fever isn’t the only symptom, it is one to pay attention to.

And how your temperature is taken matters too.

“The most accurate is rectal but that is recommended for young children or a critically ill adult that would not be able to take an oral temperature,” Meyer said.

Next on the list in terms of accuracy is oral temperature, which she says is a good fit for taking you and your family’s temp at home.

“When we look at work settings, not possible of course, to do either of those options. So you can do the forehead or the ear would be the other most accurate in this setting,” Meyer said.

No matter how you’re taking your temperature, she says an electric thermometer should be used for an accurate reading.

And when it comes to instructions, don’t skip over the fine print.

“Sometimes they want you to leave it in place and get the reading before you move it away. I know sometimes we take our own temperatures, but that may not be the most accurate if we need to leave it in place until this monitor beeps or until we have a more accurate reading,” Meyer said.

If you take your temperature back to back and notice a slight change, she says that could be due to placement– but a bigger gap between the numbers could signal a problem.

“If I am taking it and it’s 97 and I take it again and it’s 99, then you would really want to look at that thermometer and it probably is not the most accurate thermometer to be using,” Meyer said.

While taking your temperature can be useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, Meyer says not all patients will experience a fever.

For more information on coronavirus symptoms to watch for, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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