Fever and COVID-19: Should you check your temperature to test for infection?


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Some places in Northwest Arkansas are using thermometers to check people’s temperature at the door, trying to gauge if they may be infected. An infectious disease doctor said fevers don’t necessarily indicate COVID-19 infection or vice versa.

There’s nothing wrong with taking people’s temperature, said Dr. Stephen Hennigan. But fevers don’t accurately predict COVID-19 infection. In other words, people can be infected without having a fever.

There are several symptoms that can indicate the need to be tested, Hennigan said.

“Certainly, fever and a dry cough and achiness of the muscles would be [signs] and shortness of breath,” Hennigan said. “That constellation of symptoms would be quite concerning.”

The absolute best thing people can do is follow social-distancing protocol, Hennigan said. People need to stay away from large groups, keep themselves isolated and stay home, especially if they test positive.

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