Why temperature checks won't be enough to catch coronavirus cases


As government officials and business leaders look to reopen the country. Now one of the safety measures frequently touted his temperature screening to track fevers a common symptom of Corona Virus Infections. Fema has just placed an order for fourteen thousand. Thermometers for New York City at the White House. Members of the press must have their temperature taken before they're in close proximity to the president or Vice President and General Motors Plant in Kokomo Indiana where the assembly line is now making ventilators. Instead of auto parts employees are required to undergo a temperature check as soon as they arrive at work. The problem is checking for fevers is unreliable. And maybe even deceiving Dr Fred. Jacobs a poem allergist and former Commissioner of the New Jersey Health Department is with US temperature. Checks seemed like they're going to be ubiquitous in the very near future. Are they necessary? Well I'll think temperature checks You know really tell you what you want to know. That's the problem. If you have a temperature elevation could be from any number of things but assuming that in pandemic year one of the things that could be from infection with this corona virus. The trouble is most of the Trans much of the transmission occurs before they're any symptoms was signs of infection. So if you shedding virus for two or three days before you have any symptoms assigns and no temperature elevations then checking for a temperature elevation as a screening tool misses all of that and those are the people who feel okay. They feel well. They're walking around. And if you want to prevent them from coming into your store or their place of employment or a hospital or wherever and you screening for temperature alone you miss all of it and then of course there are. People who are in fact. Don't have temperature elevation. Why are all these businesses? As part of their reopening protocols including temperature checks. Well I think it's it's what they can do you know. What are they key in the absence of testing these are all substitute for what needs to be done? What needs to be done is to have a rapid accurate kind of tests that you can do multiple times on individuals talking to the Task Force last night in New Jersey about if you want to screen people going into the hospital and not just visitors but staff nurses doctors. Everybody you have somebody at the front door who can do a test. That red and five minutes. You have people in a holding area when the test is negative. They go into the hospital. And if it's not they don't and you could do that anywhere but you need a test. That's rapidly available very accurate and easily administered so well in the absence of that. You're doing all these second-best Things like temperature checks. Which is I think a very second best way of doing it. But it's it's a substitute for what needs to be done. Is there any harm in taking everyone's temperature? Well the harm is that if they don't have temperature you think they're okay. You're missing all the people who are contagious. Who are shedding virus. Who's temperature's normal and you'll letting them circulate they feel reassured the people that have their mixing with feel reassured and it's a false assurance. There's really no substitute for testing. I don't think so The substitutes at testing is a universally available. Highly potent vaccine. Dr Fred Jacobs a pulmonologist the former commissioner of the New Jersey Health Department. Our thanks to you

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