Using body temperature (pyrexia) to screen or triage for SARS-CoV-2 infection: How reliable?
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Keywords

SARS-CoV-2
body temperature
Ibadan community

Abstract

Although, information is limited on the duration of fever in SARS-CoV-2 infection, high body temperature is one of the symptoms of the infection and it is used to identify or monitor persons who are in contact with known infection as well as screen apparently healthy individuals for likelihood of infection with a pathogen. This study was carried out to evaluate the reliability of using body temperature to screen for possibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Body temperature of each participant of the 629 study participant was recorded using an infrared digital thermometer, swab samples collected from the upper nostrils and oro-pharynx and tested for presence of SARS-CoV-2 by PCR. None of the 15 participants who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 had body temperature of above 370C as at the time of sample collection. In conclusion, the practice of measurement of body temperature to triage or identify SARS-CoV-2 infected persons who may be shedding the virus may be largely misleading

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