The pandemic nature of the corona virus diseases that emerged at the end of year 2019 (COVID-19) is a major global health concern worldwide. Since high body temperature is a core symptom of the disease, the use of non-contact infrared thermometer for the detection of people with elevated temperature has become one of the measures for infection control as this will identify people that are likely to be incubating the virus at the points of entry into countries. This study assessed the correlation between elevated body temperatures and being positive to COVID-19 test using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A cross-sectional study of consented individuals whose temperatures were assessed using non-contact infrared thermometer. Nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab samples were collected and analysed in the laboratory using the RT-PCR. Among the 2160 participants tested 46.9% were males while the rest were females. Of these, 69 (3.2%) were positive to COVID-19 test. Among the total number of participants, 53 (2.3%) had elevated body temperature and 5 of the people with elevated body temperature were positive to test. All participants positive to test fulfilled the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) eligibility criteria. There was no significant relationship between elevated body temperature and SARS-CoV-2 infection. This study gives credence to the fact that asymptomatic transmission plays a role in the overall incidence of COVID-19. Therefore, anybody entering a public place even with normal body temperature must be made to comply with non-pharmaceutical interventions as an infection control measure.
Key words: COVID-19, temperature, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), infrared thermometer, nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal
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