With so much information coming at a person about COVID-19, sometimes it is difficult to tell fact from fiction.
One rumour regarding thermometers that is currently making the rounds on social media and YouTube definitely qualifies as a myth.
“We are hearing that people are concerned that taking a person’s temperature with an infrared thermometer near their head risks damaging the pineal gland in the brain,” says Katherine Stevenson, Director of Quality and Safety for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
The SHA uses infrared thermometers at entryway screening points where people are screened for COVID-19 risk before they come into SHA buildings. These non-contact thermometers have become popular in many places during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The simple fact is that infrared thermometers don’t emit anything. They actually detect the infrared wavelengths emitted by your body and convert this energy into an electrical signal to get a temperature reading,” Stevenson explained.
Infrared thermometers pose absolutely no risk to the pineal gland, which is located deep within the brain.
An infrared thermometers at one of the SHA's screening points.