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VERIFY: Summer heat could give you a false fever reading

To let people in some offices and businesses, people are using infrared guns to measure temperatures. But, could the summer heat show a false positive?

WASHINGTON — If you need to head to a business, doctor's office or a gym soon, you could be asked to do a temperature check before you head in. Most are using infrared thermometers, that measure heat off your skin.

But, could the summer heat give you a false fever on these readings?

We found people online posting that the forehead thermometers can show false positives in this summer heat.


Could infrared thermometer guns show a fever, when it just summer heat coming from your skin?


Yes, summer heat and other activities can give you a false fever.

Our sources:

Kaiser Permanente Infectious Disease expert Dr. Michael Horberg and Family Medicine doctor Heidi Meyer.


So, how do you get an accurate reading? Dr. Horberg said just wait.

“Your body quickly acclimates if its back in room temperature in about three to five minutes,” he explained. “You can then recheck your temperature and it should be back to normal.”

Dr. Meyer agrees. She said both the sun and infrared light can increase your skin temperature.

“If you’ve been outside In the heat for too long and you’ve worked up a sweat, exercising or running, your temperature on your skin will be hotter because you are trying to get rid of that heat,” Dr. Horberg explained.

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