Fever Screening – Public Health Protection or Security Theater?
Thermal imaging devices to detect travelers who have elevated temperatures and hence might be harboring a contagious disease, have been deployed during several infectious disease outbreaks. It is being deployed again at US borders and elsewhere in attempts to contain the spread of the coronavirus emanating from Wuhan, China. Screening potentially exposed individuals in order to limit disease spread is a fundamental pillar of public health response to outbreaks. The focus on fever detection at borders is more theater than protection, however.