Dr Darren Green joins Aden on the line to chat about screenings and how to read your temperature properly during Covid-19.
What is a fever?
A fever is the body’s way of warning you that something is off and can be a sign that your body is trying to fight an illness or infection. “For COVID-19, a high fever can be a presenting symptom, however there are other viruses to consider if fever is the only symptom.
What kind of thermometer should I use to take my temperature?
The type of thermometer to use depends on age. What is recommended for infants and small children since they cannot hold a thermometer safely in their mouth. Children ages 4 and above and adults can use oral thermometers.
It is important to note which thermometer is which, rectal thermometers should be designated as rectal only, and not interchanged to be used orally. Forehead thermometers are another option as well, although most are substantially more expensive than an oral thermometer.
What is screening?
Screening is a way for health workers to find out if you may have COVID-19 or not. The health worker will ask you questions and scan your forehead to take your temperature.
What questions will the health worker ask me?
The health worker will ask if you:
- have travelled to a high risk country in the last 14 days
- have had contact with anyone with confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing
You must be honest when you answer the questions to make sure you get the right help.
What happens if I have travelled to a high risk country or have had contact with someone with COVID-19?
You must self-quarantine. This means that you should stay at home for 14 days and monitor yourself for symptoms such as a dry cough, fever and difficulty breathing. Stay away from older people and people with a compromised immune system or underlying condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
What happens if I have symptoms during the screening?
If the health worker thinks that you may have COVID-19 they will refer you to a health facility to be tested.
What happens if I have not travelled, have not been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 and do not have symptoms?
You will be allowed to go on home and must keep on doing things to protect yourself:
- wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth
- avoid close contact (1 meter) with people who are unwell
- stay at home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell
Are there enough test kits to test everyone in South Africa for COVID-19?
There is a limited number of test kits in South Africa. To decide who should be tested, health workers will use a formula by looking at how serious your symptoms are and what high risk factors you have.
Listen to the interview between Aden and Dr Green here