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Alexandria company helps fight deadly virus

Gary Strahan of Alexandria was interviewed live on CNN Monday morning to discuss his company’s thermal imaging cameras and software used to scan and detect if someone has a fever. The technology may limit a potentially infected person from spreading a viral infection, like Ebola, globally. Early symptoms of the Ebola virus include sudden onset of fever. Contributed photo.

A company with an Alexandria connection is part of a global effort to limit the spread of deadly viruses like Ebola.

Gary Strahan of Alexandria is CEO of Infrared Cameras Inc. (ICI), which developed a thermal imaging system used in places like airports to spot someone with a fever – a potentially infected person – before they are allowed to spread an infection globally.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is making headlines around the world. As of Wednesday, there were 1,603 suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola originating in West Africa, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Early symptoms of the Ebola virus include sudden onset of fever.

ICI’s camera registers the skin surface temperature of any part of the body.

Then, software provides visualization and reports to be used with clinical procedures to help diagnose a person’s condition.

Thermal imaging cameras and software have become standard screening practices for many airports worldwide, according to ICI.


Strahan was interviewed live Monday, August 4 on CNN about ICI’s infrared and thermal imaging cameras in relation to detecting people who may have a fever – one of the symptoms of a virus, like Ebola.

“The human body emits copious amounts of infrared light and so the cameras actually see that light that’s given off or emitted and it hits the sensor in the camera and actually is converted into a temperature measurement,” he explained during the CNN interview. He went on to explain that in an airport screening, once a person is identified as having a fever they would be quarantined and likely given a blood test.

“The only way the Ebola virus can be detected is by a blood test,” Strahan said on CNN.

He added that a person’s temperature can be quantified with the ICI software but it is the person’s skin surface temperature, not core temperature that’s detected and measured.

Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public, according to the CDC. In fact, the CDC is sending 50 more workers to the area to help bring the outbreak under control.


ICI designs, manufactures and sells thermal imaging cameras for a variety of applications including electrical, mechanical, medical, surveillance, firefighting, maritime and more.

Some of ICI’s customers include NASA, the U.S. Army, Marathon Oil, 3M, Honeywell, Boeing, General Electric and more.

ICI is headquartered in Beaumont, Texas, with satellite offices in Michigan, Missouri and Alexandria, Minnesota.

Strahan has been CEO of Infrared Cameras Inc. since March of 1995.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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