Next up on everyone’s agenda is the Winter Olympics in China. This has many people worried. Because Omicron is rearing its ugly head and is infecting tens of thousands of people all over the world. How can we stay safe during such a huge event?

Chinese authorities are doing everything they can to separate visitors from the Chinese population. As a result, they are creating a giant bubble in which the Olympics will take place. There have also been a number of measures, starting with the My2022 app, which foreigners – athletes, visitors, officials – must download two weeks before they enter the country. In the app, they have to update a lot of medical information every day. 

In the media, China’s battle against COVID-19 has already been dubbed “Omicron versus QR codes,” referring to the in China immensely popular tool. At the same time, robots will be deployed to perform tasks ranging from serving coffee to disinfecting surfaces and packages. 

Are all these security measures effective in keeping you safe as a visitor? Or should you take your own precautions?

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is probably that we need to pay close attention to our own body temperature at least twice a day. Fever is almost always the first sign of infection with most variants of Corona virus. Even though scientists are still studying the omicron virus, it seems safe to say that a thermometer and not a QR code or a drinks-serving robot is your best option for keeping yourself safe.

When a fever is your early warning system, owning and using a high quality thermometer is obviously crucial. Once you arrive in China, you will no doubt see plenty of non-contact infrared thermometers. In China, they are everywhere because they are cheap, easy to use, and almost always manufactured by Chinese companies. 

There is one problem, however: non-contact infrared thermometers aren’t accurate. 

A recent FDA report concludes that 48% to 88% (!) of the individual temperatures measured by non-contact infrared thermometers are outside the accuracy claims of the manufacturers. Because of this, it is safe to say that non-contact infrared thermometers are highly inaccurate. The same was found by an Australian university study last year.

To be honest, this is not all that surprising. IR guns, as these non-contact infrared thermometers are sometimes called, aim a very narrow infrared beam at the forehead of a person. You are trying to “hit” the temporal artery on the forehead, so you can measure the temperature of the blood that flows through it. However, the IR beam is so narrow that it is nearly impossible to hit exactly the right spot. When you miss this spot, you are simply measuring the temperature of the forehead skin. In medical terms, this is a useless number that tells us nothing about this person’s body temperature. An infected person could very well be admitted into a crowded area if the IR gun misses a fever.

However, using the forehead’s temporal artery is smart. Because the blood flowing through the forehead artery was just seconds ago in this person’s heart. The temporal artery is the most effective way to measure fever – aside from measuring inside the heart itself – since we want to know what the core body temperature of a person is. As an alternative to using a small IR beam from 2 meters away, you should use a Temporal Artery Thermometer. With a Temporal Artery Thermometer, you use a fairly broad sensor head that is gently swiped across the forehead. With this procedure, it is virtually impossible to miss the temporal artery. With a Temporal Artery Thermometer, you can measure the body temperature of a person very accurately.

Exergen’s Temporal Artery Thermometers also use highly sophisticated algorithms to compensate for any ambient influences. When someone enters a building or sports arena, their skin will still be quite cold in winter and hot in summer since seconds before they were still outside. Temporal Artery Thermometers from Exergen compensate for these kinds of influences automatically. 

This is why Exergen’s Temporal Artery Thermometers are considered to be among the most accurate thermometers in the USA. More accurate than IR guns, but also more accurate than ear thermometers. The biggest problem with ear thermometers is that it is very difficult to place the tip of the thermometer in the exact right place in the ear canal. Pushing the thermometer in too deep can hurt and even damage the ear drum. When you don’t push it in deeply enough, you are simply measuring the outside temperature.  

Without a doubt, attending the Winter Olympics is a wonderful experience. Particularly when you manage to avoid getting infected with COVID-19. Take advantage of the QR codes and the tech the Chinese government has developed. However, an Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer, however, may be your best bet to stay safe.