New Thermal Cameras May Help Detect Ebola


The entire world has been buzzing with concern over the recent Ebola epidemic in Western Africa as well as the two officially confirmed cases stateside. As airports are still accepting flights in and out of the contaminated areas, tech companies have been racing to develop methods to increase early detection of people who may be infected with the disease. One of these methods is by the use of thermal imaging camera systems developed by FLIR Systems, a tech company in Oregon.

FLIR believes that the installation of these thermal imaging cameras will speed early detection efforts by scanning large crowds of people while looking for individuals that possess an elevated body temperature. The thought behind this is infected individuals would have a fever present. Live camera footage could then be viewed by security personnel. The cameras would then alert them to individuals possibly infected with the disease.

The system isn’t foolproof because the incubation period for Ebola is around three weeks. This means that an infected individual may not exhibit flu-like symptoms immediately. Allen Frenchette of FLIR Systems believes that the implementation of FLIR’s thermal camera systems could be a valuable first line of defense, as opposed to leaving our airport terminals completely unguarded. Many transportation officials believe him, as this system has already been installed into a number of airports in both Asia and Europe. Unfortunately, none of the airports in the U.S. have chosen to implement them yet, but Frenchette believes that it is only a matter of time.

FLIR’s thermal camera technology will create a high need for measuring displays in the infrared spectrum. Konica Minolta provides a number of high quality Display Test Systems (DTS) solutions capable of measuring UV light thru visible light and into the infrared spectrum providing users with fast accurate measurements. This will ensure that the thermal cameras are working at peak efficiency and remain a valuable aid in the detection of this deadly disease.

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