Tracking the flu

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TUSCOLA, Ill. (WCIA) — An elementary school is tracking the flu this season with a new smart thermometer app.

Kinsa launched the FLUency program, which uses smart thermometers to track the flu in real-time. Parents in participating programs can see what illnesses, such as the flu or strep, are present at school.

North Ward Elementary School’s nurse, Melissa Lemay, said the school has a fever-free policy.

“We’re hoping that everyone having a thermometer will help parents track exactly what the temperature is, so we can reduce the illness in the school system,” Lemay said.

Beth Manus, who works while her daughter is in school, said the app helps her keep track of her health while on the go.

“If she has a temperature, it tells you sometimes she’s fine, just give her some fluids, or no, this is more serious, you should take her to the doctor,” Manus said. “So, I think that’s a really cool part of the app as well.”

North Ward is distributing roughly 100 smart thermometers to use with the free app this season. Overall, more than 1,400 schools nationwide are participating in Kinsa’s FLUency program this year.

The CDC says flu season typically picks up in October and November, before reaching its peak between December and February. Symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and body aches. Doctors say last year’s flu season was the longest in the past decade, with roughly 41.3 million people showing flu symptoms.

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