QC school among first of 500 nationwide to fight flu with technology


“When Serenity brought the paper home I was like ‘Oh cool, so I took out my phone and I’m like let’s see how this works.’

Donalda McDuffy is just one of many Bowlesburg Elementary School parents reaping the benefits of a new Bluetooth enabled thermometer.

“It actually gives you the temp, it pops up and then there’s a part where you can ask questions and it talks about symptoms and it guides you on what you need to do next,” McDuffy said.

 One that connects to a phone app allowing parents to see what illnesses are going around at their child’s school.

“This app connects me right to the school nurse so therefore if I don’t get to call saying ‘Hey  why Serenity is not here?’ ‘Well, Serenity is running a temperature and her mom made the best choice to keep her home,’ said McDuffy.

One school nurse Sue Ikes said Bowlesburg is one out of only nine other Illinois schools chosen out of 10,000 applicants for the app and thermometers nationwide.

“We’re just super excited because this gives parents a lot of information,” Ikes said. “Number one we have a lot of parents who don’t have a thermometer, so they’re making a decision whether to send their child to school or not based on touching their forehead and if they feel warm or not,” she said.

All apart of a FLUency program in which 500 schools are participating in. 

“The whole point is for us to have a sense of what’s going around,” said Ikes. “Since the 2009 flu epidemic we tried very hard to enable our parents with information as to what’s going on and this is another tool that helps this.”

Allowing them get accurate information within minutes. 

“For instance we see on the app for today that we have one sick first grader who’s used the thermometer,” said Ikes.

Making it win for both parents.

“Kinsa did an amazing thing by picking Bowlesburg and I am thankful, McDuffy said.

As well as the students.

“It’s going to make you feel better,” said her daughter Serenity Hodges.

No other school in the Quad Cities area on either side of the river has the app or program.

However, parents are able to add more than one child to the app even if they don’t go to Bowlesburg Elementary School.

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