Temperature screening has negligible value for control of COVID-19

Biswadev Mitra, Carl Luckhoff, Rob D. Mitchell, Gerard M. O'Reilly, De Villiers Smit, Peter A. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To report the incidence of fever among patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Methods: Retrospective cohort study of patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 at a single centre. Temperature at time of testing and on repeat testing within 24 h were collected. Results: At the time of testing, fever was detected (sensitivity) in 16 of 86 (19%; 95% confidence interval 11–28) episodes of positive tests for SARS-CoV-2. With repeat testing, fever was detected in 18 of 75 (24%; 95% confidence interval 15–35) episodes. Conclusions: In an Australian hospital, screening for fever lacked sensitivity for detection of patients with SARS-CoV-2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-869
Number of pages3
JournalEMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • COVID-19
  • emergency medicine
  • fever
  • screening
  • temperature

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