During an epidemic, chances are that as soon as you enter an airport or doctor’s surgery, someone will indicate an infrared thermometer on your forehead to assess your temperature. Your skin temperature is being measured to try to identify whether you have an elevated body temperature, which is a sign of fever, which is one of the major symptoms of COVID-19.
The good thing about using infrared thermometers is that they are quick, simple, and non-invasive. You can screen many people rapidly without any inconvenience, for example, passengers going from an airport or people entering a sports stadium. But to be a useful mass-testing tool, an infrared thermometer also needs to be accurate – and that’s where problems arise.
Although fever is a major symptom of COVID-19, many infected people do not have any symptoms, or develop a fever after becoming infectious, become ill, and enter hospital. At least 11% of people with COVID-19 do not have fever, and only 43% patient The sick has been admitted to the hospital. So, looking for fever is not a foolproof approach.
Plus, while an infrared thermometer can accurately measure skin temperature, Real question Is: Does forehead temperature tell us something about deep body temperature, the true sign of fever? Certainly, under highly controlled conditions, an increased forehead temperature can indicate an increase in body temperature – that’s why you don’t feel great when you say people don’t put their hands on your forehead We do.
But the problem is, the temperature of the forehead or skin can be increased or decreased independently of body temperature for several reasons. Just being in a cold or hot environment, getting sunburn, just exercising, wearing lots of clothes, drinking alcohol, just eating, drinking, having a variety of skin conditions – all of these can affect skin temperature.
Such factors There may be false positive results, where one is suspected to have no fever, and false negatives, where one passes the screening test, but has a fever. Neither result is good. The former means that people will have to investigate further or stop doing things. The latter means infected individuals gain access to places where they can spread the infection, or feel they are virus-free so there is no need to take other infections such as Wear a mask, Social distance, or washing your hands.
And even though an infrared thermometer can correctly identify individuals with a raised deep body temperature, is it always a sign of fever? Again, the answer is clearly no. Other things can increase your body’s deep temperature, the most obvious exercise is by staying warm and wearing lots of clothes. The same can happen when you run from one airport terminal to another to catch a connecting flight.
All of the above have led the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control COnclude Although some COVID-19 cases are detected at airports through temperature-detection procedures, evidence suggests that such measures are not effective overall.
In the UK, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has done a similar Warn “Temperature screening products, some of which make direct claims to screen for COVID-19, are not a reliable way to detect if people have the virus.” Also in the Canadian Agency for Health, Drugs and Technologies Noted Years ago that “the accuracy of an infrared skin thermometer is similar and requires more research.”
Given that the need for an accurate mass-screening method remains, and that infrared thermometers are already very popular, what can be done to improve their accuracy?
one way We checked Might stick with the same kit, but how it changes is of little use. We know that extremes of the body are more responsive to the overall thermal profile of the body – fingers that, for example, significantly increase or decrease their temperature, as the deeper body temperature rises slightly and decreases. goes. In contrast, the head – especially the corners of the eyes – are more consistent and reflective of deeper body temperatures.
Viewing these parts of the body and the difference in temperature between them can give a more accurate indication of whether the body temperature has increased due to fever. This will work because, in many scenarios in which body temperature increases, the temperature of the extremities also increases – for example in exercise, while drinking alcohol, overheating when wearing too many clothes, and so on. As a result, the difference between the temperature of the eye and the fingers decreases.
But with fever, deep body temperature rises Hands get cold, So the difference between eye and finger temperature increases. Therefore, a more accurate way to use an infrared thermometer on the screen for COVID-19 may be to measure the temperature of the hand and the corner of the eye and determine the difference.
This will not be correct. Other conditions may also increase this difference, including some age-related conditions. And, as we noted, not all infected people develop symptoms of fever. But this would be a step in the right direction, and is therefore worthy of further consideration. COVID-19 is unlikely to be the last pandemic, and we are responsible for future generations to learn what we can do to help prepare for this further.
By this article Mike tiptonProfessor of Human and Applied Physiology, University of Portsmouth And Igor Mexavic, Researcher in Automation, Biochabenetics and Robotics, Joseph Steffen Institute, and Adjack Professor Simon Fraser University Republished from chit chat Under a Creative Commons license. read the Original article.