WHO Coronavirus Question & Answers
What the Chart actually means for Covid-19
Can Infrared thermography help detect elevated body temperatures which may indicate the presence of a fever?
The use of infrared imaging as tool to help screen people with a potential fever is known and may help contain or limit the spread of viral diseases.
The growth of international travel and economic migration require a consistent, prompt, effective and global disease prevention policy. Elevated human body temperature, or fever, is often an indicator of infections. Since the recent pandemic outbreak people have been looking for a fast, easy, contactless ( non-invasive), and reliable method to detect elevated human body temperature.
Can thermal cameras be used to detect a virus or an infection?
The quick answer to this question is no, but thermal imaging cameras can be used to detect Elevated Body Temperature. FLIR thermal cameras have been used in public spaces—such as airports, train terminals, businesses, factories, and concerts—as an effective tool to measure skin surface temperature and identify individuals with Elevated Body Temperature (EBT).
In light of the global pandemic, society is deeply concerned with the spread of infection and seeking tools to help slow and ultimately stop it’s spread. Although no thermal cameras can detect or diagnose infection, FLIR cameras have a long history of detecting EBT in high-traffic public places through quick individual screening.
If the temperature of the skin in key areas (especially the corner of the eye and forehead) is above average temperature, then the individual may be selected for additional screening. Identifying individuals with EBT, who then can be further screened with specific diagnostic tests, can help reduce or dramatically slow the spread.
Using thermal cameras, officials can be more discrete, efficient, and effective in identifying individuals that need further screening. A variety of institutions, including transportation agencies, businesses, factories, and first responders are using thermal screening as an EBT detection method and as part of employee health and screening.
Airports in particular are actively employing FLIR thermal cameras as part of their screening measures for passengers and flight crews. The screening procedures implemented at airports and in other public places are just the first step when it comes to detecting elevated temperature: it’s a quick way to screen for anyone who might be unwell, and must always be followed up with further screening before authorities decide to quarantine a person.
Proven track record
The deployment of FLIR cameras in airports, terminals and company facilities is providing a noninvasive and highly effective method to screen passing crowds for elevated skin temperatures that might suggest a person has a virus.
The adoption of FLIR IR cameras is one small, but vital measure, to combat the spread of the pandemic. A selection of companies and organisations that have FLIR IR temperature screening systems in place:
Algeria Ministry of Health
ALSTOM Power Service
Australian International Airports
French Ministry of Health
Formosa Plastic Group
Hong Kong Airport Authority
Malaysia Ministry of Health
Morocco Ministry of Health
Tunisia Ministry of Health
Turkey Ministry of Health
UAE Ministry of Health
…and many more
Information regarding this application.
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An extract from the World Health Organization Website:
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.