Trend of Fever screen and Evaluation of Quarantine Effectiveness among International Passengers

Jiun-Shian Kuo

2008 Vol.24 NO.7

Correspondence Author: Jiun-Shian Kuo


The infrared thermography has been set up at the international ports in Taiwan since May 2003 to automatically screen inbound passengers for abnormal body temperature. In the mean time, the policy related to filling out questionnaires for infectious disease surveillance system was modified several times. We therefore aimed to evaluate the outcome of international ports surveillance system and looked into possible epidemiological estimation and trend from those symptomatic and febrile inbound passengers.
We found a significant increase in the number of cases of Notifiable diseases from the quarantine procedure after applying the infrared fever screening measure in international ports. The identified disease pattern also changed from gastrointestinal diseases to vector borne infectious diseases. The infrared fever screening measure also had a higher detection sensitivity compared to filling out the infectious disease survey questionnaire.
There was no significant difference among the monthly rates of symptomatic passengers to asymptomatic passengers from July, 2003 through June, 2007. However, the new quarantine measure has made a significant change in the trend of the rates (0.51% to 0.11%). From July 2005 to June 2007, there were two peaks of fever cases, June-September and December-March next year. The fever peak during Jun.-Sept. has matched the peak season for important identified Notifiable diseases and gastrointestinal bacterial diseases. The winter fever peak (Dec.-Mar. next year) was found to be similar to the influenza epidemic pattern in Northern Hemisphere.
Keywords:infrared thermography, fever screening, quarantine, imported cases