Many people are asking questions about thermography and its ability to detect the Coronavirus. While thermography is not intended to be used a diagnostic tool, is great at detecting inflammation/heat signatures in the body. As a matter of fact, thermography is being used throughout the world right now to detect fevers in people who have been infected with any flu or virus... especially travelers.
Let’s take a closer look at what thermography can and cannot do.
You may have heard about the Boston bomber hiding in the boat underneath the canvas cover? The helicopter that was hovering above found him using an infrared camera - the same camera we use in our office. Remember at the beginning of this pandemic when passengers of the Carnival Cruise Line got sick? Carnival bought these same cameras to monitor their passengers for fevers.
Temperature has been a long-established indicator of health. The Greek physician, Hippocrates, wrote in 400 B.C. “In whatever part of the body excess of heat or cold is felt, the disease is there to be discovered.” The ancient Greeks immersed the body in wet mud and the area that dried more quickly, indicating a warmer region, was considered the diseased tissue. The use of hands and thermometers to measure heat-emanating from the body remained well into the eighteenth century.
The accuracy of thermography cameras is remarkable and can also provide detailed information on inflammation throughout the entire body. Additionally, we are able to locate areas of the lymphatic system that may be compromised or blocked. Armed with that info, we can direct you with next steps to help clear those blockages to restore optimal immune system function.
Here’s an excellent description of what your lymphatic system does and why it’s so important.
“Your lymphatic system is essentially your body’s “sewage processing plant,” responsible for removing waste, toxins, and other unwanted material out of your cells and tissues so they can be flushed out of your body. When your lymph stops flowing freely, it’s like having your garbage company go on strike. The garbage in your home begins to pile up—and the longer the strike, the higher it piles. If the strike goes on long enough, your home will become toxic and you’ll get sick. This is what happens with sluggish lymph: waste accumulates in your cells and tissues. Unlike your blood, which has a beating heart to push it along, your lymph requires actual movement from you in order to keep it flowing. So, if you don’t move much, your lymph doesn’t move much either… and cellular “garbage” begins piling up.”
When your lymphatic system stops flowing, inflammation occurs. We know that inflammation plays a critical role in the normal physiological processes of the body. For example, inflammation is required for the initial stages of wound healing. It helps to clear the debris of dead tissue, signals for the immune system cells to come to the area, helps to fend off foreign invaders such as bacteria and infections, and initiates tissue repair. However, when it occurs in excess, it becomes a powerful promoter of chronic disease and aging.
So, does thermography detect Coronavirus? No, but it is an amazing tool for imaging inflammation and can alert you to unhealthy patterns which may justify further clinical correlation, but keep in mind that thermography was not meant to replace a test of anatomy like ultrasound, mammography or MRI. It is to be used in conjunction. Do you know what your thermal fingerprint looks like?
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