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Garland ISD

Schools Turn to Technology to Fight Virus’ on Campus

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Students across North Texas are on spring break either this week or next. Some districts are preparing to monitor students with symptoms of anything unusual during this outbreak of coronavirus.

It's not always mom who hears the first warnings of illness. Many kids bring their first complaint to the school nurse and this time of year their office is the busiest.

"We are advocating for get your flu shot, wash your hand cover your cough," said Francis Luna, a nurse in Garland ISD.

New technology is helping nurses, better identify what's behind those sniffles and watery eyes. Children's Health has partnered with more than 100 schools in 25 districts across North Texas to provide school based Teleheatlh.

It's a computer on wheels, outfitted with cameras, sensors and tools that allow nurses at schools to dial up a doctor when a child's symptoms look like they could be something more serious.

"It could be just allergies, it could be bacterial, but by them seeing the child they can determine that," said Luna.

In addition to being easier for parents who now don't have to take off work, to grab a sick child and bring them to the doctor, it's helped schools know exactly what illnesses are in the the building and better fight them.

It's mostly helped fight the flu so far but could help as students return from vacations around the world after spring break.

"It's a game changer for the school nurse," said Luna.

Parents have to sign up to use the program, they take health insurance and it's billed just like a doctor's visit. Check with your school to see if they offer it.

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