Early this year, when news channels all around the world reported how dangerous and contagious coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is, countries started responding by implementing different safety measures. One of these safety measures is the installation of temperature screening solutions in places where there are usually high-volume of people, to detect persons with fever among crowds and isolate them as soon as possible, and test them for COVID-19. This is because the masses have observed that fever is one of the common symptoms of COVID-19. The said method helps in preventing COVID-19 from further spreading. Because the person suspected of infection is removed from the masses, the risk of the masses getting infected by that person lessens. Additionally, it helps with the early diagnosis of the disease, paving way for the early treatment of the infected person, and increasing his chances of survival as he is immediately put into care.
However, as more and more industries both from the public to private sectors equip themselves with thermal cameras and fever scanners, recent articles show experts testifying how fever detection among crowds cannot stop COVID-19 from spreading. Virologist and Epidemiologist Dr. Joseph Fair said in an interview with NBC News last March that, although thermal cameras have mass-accurate technology to detect elevated body temperature, it cannot detect all infected people as asymptomatic individuals may not show fever-like qualities. While the virologist is far from wrong, recent studies showed that although some infected people may be asymptomatic, a large percentage of them do exhibit fever as one of their top COVID-19 symptoms.
Just this June, researchers from 5 different universities across the globe found that fever is one of the top COVID-19 symptoms everyone should watch out for. According to Yahoo! News, the researchers’ review is one of the biggest data analyses about coronavirus ever conducted. The researchers have access to about 24,000 adult cases of COVID-19 in nine countries, allowing them to make extensive cross-references to find the most common symptoms among infected individuals. The review showed that fever was found in 78% of the COVID-19 cases. Other most common symptoms include cough and loss of smell.
“This analysis confirms that a cough and fever were the most common symptoms in people who tested positive with COVID-19,” says Ryckie Wade, a surgeon and Clinical Research Fellow at the Leeds Institute of Medical Research who supervised the research. “This is important because it ensures that people who are symptomatic can be quarantined, so they are not infecting others.”
Before, people who disagree with the use of thermal cameras see fever as only a “possible” symptom of COVID-19 infection. Now, there is big research done by 5 universities around the world to support the fact that fever is indeed one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 everyone should look out for. This review makes the role of thermal scanners in schools, workplaces, leisure centers, and public transportation more important in helping fight COVID-19 as we restart smart to the new normal.