London, Nov 12: Temperature and COVID-19 symptom checks like the ones used at schools and doctor’s offices have again proved inadequate for spotting SARS-CoV-2 infections and preventing outbreaks.
A study of Marine recruits found that despite these measures and strict quarantines before they started training, the recruits spread the virus to others even though hardly any of them had symptoms. None of the infections were caught through symptom screening.
The study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, has implications for colleges, prisons, meatpacking plants and other places that rely on this sort of screening to detect infections and prevent outbreaks.
“We spent a lot of time putting measures like that in place and they’re probably not worth the time as we had hoped,” said Jodie Guest, a public health researcher at Atlanta’s Emory University who had no role in the research.
“Routine testing seems to be better in this age group” because younger adults often have no symptoms, she said.