Are temperature checks effective?

A Healthy You

Health questionnaires and temperature checks have become part of our daily routines. 

But as we head into summer camp season, some experts caution these temperature checks aren’t always consistent, and they won’t always catch COVID-19.                                                 

Dr. Alok Patel, a Stanford Health pediatrician agrees. He says temperature checks create a false sense of security because pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID patients usually don’t have a fever and can still spread the virus.                                               

A CDC study of more than 1000 COVID patients also reported only 44 percent having a fever when they were admitted to the hospital.

And while some experts say fever checks can provide at least one layer of screening, they also worry they can cause us to worry.

Dr. Patel says there tends to be this fever phobia.

Dr. Patel says parents should also know readings can vary depending on person to person, time of day, or even gender.

Temperatures can also vary depending on the type of thermometer used.

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