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COVID-19 and low body temp

Written by Ada’s Medical Knowledge Team

Updated on


  • COVID-19 can cause fever or a low body temperature. 
  • A low temperature can cause chills, shivers, confusion, and many other symptoms. 
  • If you have COVID and a low temperature below 35°C (95°F), you should go to the hospital immediately. 

A low body temperature with COVID-19 is not that common, but it may occur. This happens especially if you’re experiencing severe symptoms due to the coronavirus infection. As a low body temperature may contribute to a poor outcome of your condition, it’s important to be aware of your temperature if you’ve been infected so that you can take action if needed. 

How are low body temperature and COVID-19 connected?

Low body temp and COVID may have an important link. Although COVID-19 usually causes a fever, which is a common symptom of an infection, a low body temperature is also possible. It may give an important indication of the severity of the condition. In order to know whether or not your infection with the coronavirus has caused a difference in your body temperature, it’s crucial to understand what is normal and what isn’t. A normal temperature should be around 36-37°C (97-99°F) and can depend on various factors, such as: 1 2

  • Your age
  • The time of day
  • Your activity
  • The way you measured your temperature

Generally speaking, a fever is a temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) or higher. A fever may combine with symptoms such as feeling hot, shivery, or sweaty. This high temperature is your body’s normal reaction to fight off an infection with the virus. Your body temperature can also be too low. If your body temperature is below 35°C (95°F), this is referred to as hypothermia. Some groups of people are more prone to experience hypothermia. This is the case if you’re: 3

  • Very old or very young
  • Malnourished
  • Exhausted
  • Taking certain medications
  • Suffering from chronic illness
  • Taking drugs or alcohol

Recent scientific studies have concluded that patients who get hypothermia with COVID often have a higher risk of being admitted to the hospital and succumbing to the infection. People with a low body temperature and COVID admitted to the hospital usually need more assistance with breathing through an intubation and exhibit higher levels of inflammation in their body.4 5 6

What are the symptoms of a low temperature with COVID?

If you have COVID and a low temperature of below 95°F (35°C), there are certain symptoms that you may start to experience, such as: 7

  • Chills
  • Shivering
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Cold, pale skin
  • Slow heart rate and slow breathing
  • Weakness and sleepiness

If you have COVID and hypothermia, it’s of high importance to go to the emergency room, as hypothermia can lead to heart and respiratory failure, which needs to be treated right away

How can you tell whether you have COVID hypothermia?

In order to know whether you have a low temperature due to COVID-19, it’s important to be certain that you’re checking your temperature correctly. Most thermometers come with an instruction manual, which you should follow closely. There’s also a difference in thermometers. In general, checking your temperature through the rectum is the most accurate way of telling your body temperature. There are also certain factors which can affect your body temperature, which is why it’s not recommended to check for COVID low temperature right after working out, taking a hot bath, smoking or having a hot or a cold drink.8

Is it normal to have a low-grade fever after COVID-19?

Long COVID is the continuation of symptoms caused by the coronavirus for weeks or months after getting infected. Scientific studies have concluded that people with long COVID often experience a low-grade fever and a persistent state of inflammation while they’re experiencing the symptoms of long COVID. The change in body temperature may be due to damage to the cells caused by the high levels of inflammation.9

Wrapping up

Although an infection with the coronavirus usually causes a fever, it’s also important to look out for a low temperature with COVID. If you notice a drop in your body temperature or any of the warning signs of hypothermia, then it’s important to go to the emergency room as soon as possible. 


Q: Can COVID-19 cause hypothermia? 
A: A viral infection can cause hypothermia in some cases, especially if it’s a severe infection with severe symptoms. 

Q: Is a low temperature a symptom of COVID-19? 
A: Although it’s more common to experience a fever due to your infection with the coronavirus, it’s also possible that your body temperature gets too low. 

Q: What does a low body temperature mean when sick? 
A: A low body temperature when sick could mean that you have hypothermia. It could also point to sepsis, which is an improper response of the body to an infection, causing the organs to work poorly and get damaged. Both require immediate treatment. 

Q: Does COVID affect body temperature regulation? 
A: COVID-19 can affect body temperature as it can cause both a fever and a low temperature.