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  • Fever is being taken as one of the leading symptom for screening for COVID-19. Whether at airports or railway stations or at the entrance of the hospitals, one would find a team of healthcare persons with thermal scanners, checking for rise in body temperature. Apparently, much stress is being placed on rise in body temperature as a “screening” sign.
  • A good screening test should have very high “sensitivity”, i.e., it should have very low proportion of false negatives (though it would come at the expense of a large proportion of false positives).
  • In our experience at our medical college and hospital, which is both a designated Non-COVID as well as designated COVID hospital, among the confirmed positive cases of COVID, fever is present in less than 30%, while another 10%, if interrogated meticulously, give a history of feverish feeling about 2 to 3 days before reporting.
  • The commonest presenting symptom in our experience, among the confirmed positive cases, is “feeling of fatigue”, a feeling which happens after one has been exerting for a few days without adequate rest.
  • It is felt that if we continue screening for fever / raised body temperature, a presentation which seems to be pretty low on sensitivity, we may be losing out a large number of cases who would have otherwise tested positive. We need to have more detailed screening, particularly asking for “feeling of fatigue or exhaustion” as an important screening symptom.


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