Investigation of febrile passengers detected by infrared thermal scanning at an international airport
Article first published online: 9 FEB 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 34, Issue 1, pages 5–10, February 2010
How to Cite
McBride, W. J. H., Buikstra, E. and FitzGerald, M. (2010), Investigation of febrile passengers detected by infrared thermal scanning at an international airport. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34: 5–10. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2010.00466.x
- Issue published online: 9 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 9 FEB 2010
- Submitted: May 2009 Revision requested: July 2009 Accepted: August 2009
- infrared rays;
- patient participation
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.