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Investigation of febrile passengers detected by infrared thermal scanning at an international airport


McBride, WJH and Buikstra, E and Fitzgerald, MA, Investigation of febrile passengers detected by infrared thermal scanning at an international airport, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34, (1) pp. 5-10. ISSN 1326-0200 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1753-6405.2010.00466.x


Objective: To determine the best approach for the evaluation of fever, detected by infrared thermal scanning, at an international airport. Methods: Arriving passengers with fever were divided into three groups: community evaluation by a GP, with or without cost compensation, or evaluation at the airport by a health practitioner. Uptake of offered evaluations was measured, diagnoses were recorded, and region-specific rates of fever measured. Observations were made on practical aspects of thermal screening. Results: Over a six-month period, 181,759 passengers were screened for fever at the Cairns international airport, Queensland, Australia. Fever was identified in 118 (0.06%) of the arriving passengers and 76 were enrolled in the study. Only 19 of these passengers (25%) voluntarily underwent further evaluation. No differences were observed in the three approaches. Conclusions: Public health surveillance of febrile passengers arriving at an international airport should not rely on voluntary passenger participation for the detection of imported contagious diseases. © 2010 Public Health Association of Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fever, surveillance, infrared, rays, travel, patient participation
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Infectious diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response)
UTAS Author:Fitzgerald, MA (Professor Mary Fitzgerald)
ID Code:61469
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Nurse Education Unit
Deposited On:2010-03-03
Last Modified:2011-05-18

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