Vacations are meant to be times of rest and relaxation. We look forward to blue water, clear skies and all the great food we can eat. But, what happens when your vacation is cut short by illness? What if you’re illness is caused by an actual outbreak, or in the case of COVID-19, a pandemic? Passengers on several cruise ships experienced the above scenario recently when the Coronavirus made its way aboard their vessels. Ships were re-routed, and captains were actually challenged with finding “safe harbor”.

What makes passengers on cruise ships particularly susceptible to disease transmission? First, large numbers of people, gathered in small spaces are prime environments for the spread of illness. Some experts are speculating that, in the case of the recent cruise ship outbreaks of COVID-19, the culprit was the ventilation system connecting passenger cabins. There are also situations where people contract illness “during a port visit, and bring the infection back on board.” (“The Coronavirus Outbreak Has Affected 4 Different Ships – Here’s Why Illness Can Spread So Fast at Sea, “ Leah Groth, Health.com)

Another supposition is that infected crew members, who stay on board through several trips, infect multiple groups of passengers.

The inability to allay illness aboard a cruise ship has the potential to very quickly cause the exponential advancement of the disease. Passengers leaving the affected vessel make contact with and infect unknown numbers of people, who go on to infect others. In these situations, the number of infected individuals could reach staggering proportions.

Early identification and separation of sick passengers is the key to preventing an outbreak that could become too widespread to contain. Given that a fever often signals a likely contagious illness, a non-contact forehead thermometer becomes especially effective for helping to control the spread of disease. A device that is FDA approved for taking human temperatures can be trusted to safely capture the data needed to make critical disease management decisions. Further, when certified as a medical device, a thermometer is guaranteed to be reliable and perform without causing patient injury. This type of device is an excellent choice for quickly screening large groups of passengers, while providing health professionals with the information needed to separate those who are sick.

The ability to easily scan multiple passengers within a relatively short period of time, eliminating the need to stop and clean the device, makes non-contact forehead thermometers especially useful when faced with an unprecedented disease outbreak, such as we are currently witnessing. A device with data storage eliminates the need to manually record temperature measurements. Ease of use is important during emergent situations. As is the ability to perform a large number of temperature readings. Features like a backlit LCD display for areas with poor lighting, as well as an alarm to alert users when a temperature reading is outside of the normal range are particularly helpful. Uncertain times call for ingenuity. DeltaTrak’s Non-Contact Infrared Forehead Thermometer, Model 15007, exemplifies ingenuity at its best.