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Article of the Month:

The Use of Thermography in Elevated Body Temperature Screening

Carol Chandler

Doctor of Oriental Medicine, President

Med-Hot Thermal Imaging, Inc.

5120 South Florida Avenue, Suite 301 Lakeland, FL 33813




When properly implemented, thermography is the most efficient non-contact, cost effective and reasonably accurate solution for mass screening of individuals for elevated body temperature (EBT). It was first introduced in 2002 with the highly infectious disease called SARS (Severe, Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic, which originated in the Guangdong Province of China and eventually spread to 29 countries. Screening to detect a potentially infected person played an important role in preventing the spread of SARS.

A great deal has been learned since the initial experience of 2002 when there were no guidelines for effective screening. Even today we see videos of live screening activities with inappropriate equipment and little or no human or environmental protocols, sometimes resulting in ineffective and disappointing outcomes. Thermography has great potential, but unless it is used properly it will become a prop for perceived action in a panic situation.

This paper will discuss the benefits and limitations of infrared thermography when used to remotely screen for elevated body temperature, appropriate target areas of the body for screening, and the placement of thermal imagers for optimal data collection.

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