Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, Being Examined With a Temperature Gun Photo: West African Pilot

Are temperature checks reliable to determine COVID-19 infection?

*It’s certainly a common thing for somebody to have COVID-19 infection and not have a fever ─Health Experts

*Temperatures are notoriously inaccurate many times; temperature checks unreliable, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Following the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in several countries of the world, temperature checks have become one of the several ways schools, businesses and organisations are attempting to stay free and safe from the pandemic.

Temperature checks when you’re entering a business, school or office have becomes part of the new normal in recent times.

However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and top infectious disease expert, is calling them unreliable.

According to the US top infectious disease expert, the White House has done away with temperature checks altogether.

But then, how effective is taking them when it comes to COVID-19 now?

Dr. Fauci said: “We have found at the NIH (National Institutes of Health), that it is much much better to just question people when they come in and save the time, because the temperatures are notoriously inaccurate, many times.”

ConsumerConnect learnt that it is not everyone who has Coronavirus will experience fever as a symptom, and a significant portion of people who become infected with the virus have mild or no symptoms at all.

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way of life for most Americans as health precautions such as masks and physical or social distancing have become the norm in public spaces, report said.

Infrared Thermometer    Photo: Cleaneat

Dr. Steve Threlkeld of Baptist Memorial Hospital said: “It’s certainly a common thing for somebody to have COVID-19 infection and not have a fever.

“So, we have to do more in terms of thinking about it than just blindly take a temperature.”

As Dr. Fauci recently advised that temperature checks are not reliable especially during hot days, Threlkeld lends credence to his submission when he stated that “Dr. Fauci was just pointing out that some of the touchless thermometers are not perfect in the values that they give you.”

The infectious disease doctor said there isn’t a perfect modality when it comes to screening for diseases.

Both Fauci and Threlkeld agree that questioning people about symptoms is needed.

“Have they been around someone that is known to have COVID very recently? Are they having any symptoms – cough, shortness of breath?” said Threlkeld of such questioning.

According to him, in some studies up to 40 percent of people can be asymptomatic.

He said: “Particularly when you’re talking about kids they are particularly going to likely be a less symptomatic, less severely infected. Less likely to have a high fever.”

Dr. Threlkeld also added using common sense in terms of screening and behaviour will help in beating COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have found at the NIH, that it is much much better to just question people when they come in and save the time, because the temperatures are notoriously inaccurate, many times,” Fauci said recently.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert went on to say the White House done away with temperature checks altogether.

Not everyone who has the coronavirus will experience fever as a symptom, and a significant portion of people who become infected with the virus have mild or no symptoms at all.

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way of life for most Americans as health precautions such as masks and social distancing have become the norm in public spaces.

Businesses, schools and other establishments have also embraced the use of infrared thermometers for temperature checks on patrons, students and teachers as part of the safety protocol for reopening.

But public health experts are throwing cold water on the utility of temperature checks.

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