Two commercially available scanners meant for use in airports and other public facilities can reliably detect people with fevers, making them useful during disease outbreaks, researchers of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported October 13. Researchers found that the scanners, which work at a distance of 3 to 6 feet, do a better job of detecting fevers than when people are simply asked if they feel feverish. They tested three systems in several emergency rooms and found they detected about 90 percent of fevers. That compared with 75 percent accuracy when people were askedif they felt like they had a fever. Airport fever scanners were used in some countries during last year’s pandemic of H1N1 swine flu, and the 2003 outbreak of Severe AcutRespiratory Syndrome, which killed about 800 people globally before it was contained.

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