With the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continuing worldwide, mass screening of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a cornerstone of strategies for limiting viral spread within communities. Although mass screening of body temperature with handheld, non-contact infrared thermometers and thermal imagine scanners is now widespread in a kaleidoscope of social and healthcare settings for the purpose of detecting febrile individuals bearing SARS-CoV-2 infection, this strategy carries some drawbacks, which will be highlighted and discussed in this article. These caveats basically include high rate of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections, the challenging definition of "normal" body temperature, variation of measured values according to the body district, false negative cases due to antipyretics, device inaccuracy, impact of environmental temperature, along with the low specificity of this symptom for screening COVID-19 in patients with other febrile conditions. Some pragmatic suggestions will also be endorsed for increasing accuracy and precision of mass screening of body temperature. These encompass the regular assessment of body temperature (possibly twice) with validated devices, which shall be constantly monitored over time and used following manufacturer's instructions, the definition of a range of "normal" body temperatures in the local population, patients interrogation on usual body temperature, measurement standardization of one body district, allowance of sufficient environmental acclimatization before temperature check, integration with contact history and other clinical information, along with exclusion of other causes of increased body temperature. We also endorse the importance of individual and primary care physician's regular and repeated check of personal body temperature.

Is body temperature mass screening a reliable and safe option for preventing COVID-19 spread?

Lippi, Giuseppe
;
Nocini, Riccardo;Mattiuzzi, Camilla;
2022

Abstract

With the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continuing worldwide, mass screening of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a cornerstone of strategies for limiting viral spread within communities. Although mass screening of body temperature with handheld, non-contact infrared thermometers and thermal imagine scanners is now widespread in a kaleidoscope of social and healthcare settings for the purpose of detecting febrile individuals bearing SARS-CoV-2 infection, this strategy carries some drawbacks, which will be highlighted and discussed in this article. These caveats basically include high rate of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections, the challenging definition of "normal" body temperature, variation of measured values according to the body district, false negative cases due to antipyretics, device inaccuracy, impact of environmental temperature, along with the low specificity of this symptom for screening COVID-19 in patients with other febrile conditions. Some pragmatic suggestions will also be endorsed for increasing accuracy and precision of mass screening of body temperature. These encompass the regular assessment of body temperature (possibly twice) with validated devices, which shall be constantly monitored over time and used following manufacturer's instructions, the definition of a range of "normal" body temperatures in the local population, patients interrogation on usual body temperature, measurement standardization of one body district, allowance of sufficient environmental acclimatization before temperature check, integration with contact history and other clinical information, along with exclusion of other causes of increased body temperature. We also endorse the importance of individual and primary care physician's regular and repeated check of personal body temperature.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1048140
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