Why temperature scanners won’t help us stop COVID-19

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.

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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.

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