Airport Temperature Checks Lik...

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Airport Temperature Checks Likely To Be Ineffective - HIQA

Newsroom
Newsroom

12:39 PM - 6 Aug 2020



Mass temperature checks of passengers at airports are unlikely to be effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19, HIQA has warned.

The health watchdog says there is not enough evidence to suggest the measure works.

Recent months have seen a number of calls for temperature checks to be introduced at Irish airports.

A report from the Oireachtas COVID committee yesterday recommended that "all entrants should be temperature screened on arrival".

However, in a new report - which looks at international research on screening - HIQA says the measure is only effective when it comes to detecting fevers.

The watchdog says: "Not all cases of COVID-19 present with fever and a substantial proportion are asymptomatic (never symptomatic); approximately 25% of symptomatic cases never develop a fever.

"Moreover, some cases may evade detection due to mild clinical symptoms or other confounders, such as the use of antipyretic medicines.

"Therefore, fever screening may not identify a large proportion of potentially infectious cases.

The report does note a number of potential benefits to the checks, including "discouraging travel of ill people, education and awareness-raising, improvements in public confidence and reductions in the negative economic consequences associated with travel or trade restrictions".

However, they add that it's hard to examine the full effectiveness of screening - saying it was typically implemented alongside a range of other measures, including looking at passenger's contact and travel history.



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Airports Body Temperature Covid-19 Government HIQA

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