[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 26, 1932


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, University Hospital, University of Minnesota Medical School.

JAMA. 1932;99(22):1860-1862. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.27410740001012

It appears that controversy still exists in regard to the normal variation of body temperature, a matter that many no doubt have considered long settled. Wunderlich1 in his comprehensive study in 1868 stated that the normal variation of temperature measured in the axilla ranged between 36.2 C. (97.2 F.) and 37.5 C. (99.5 F.) with a mean normal of 37 C. (98.6 F.). Mouth temperature was a fraction of a degree higher, 36.3 C. (97.3 F.) to 37.6 C. (99.6 F.). Rautmann,2 in a study of more than 1,000 students between the ages of 18 and 22, determined an average axillary temperature in males of 36.8 C. (98.2 F.), with extremes of 35.8 C. and 37.8 C., and in females a fraction of a degree lower. There are many who consider temperature higher than 37 C. as almost certain evidence of infection.3 This to a large extent