Fifth Disease Caught Thanks to Kinsa's FLUency Program
The impact of community health programs like Kinsa's FLUency program in elementary schools goes beyond the ability to prevent the spread of illness. By catching sickness early and preventing it from spreading to other students, we can actually affect attendance rates, reducing absences and improving students' ability to remain engaged in the classroom.
Travis Heights Elementary School, an economically disadvantaged public school in Austin, Texas, piloted this program in November of last year. They saw attendance rates increase from an average of 90% to 96% since they launched the FLUency program in late 2014.
The school has seen specific instances where conversation in Kinsa's app has prevented potential outbreaks from spreading, alerting parents before it became a full crisis.
A single mother at Travis Heights wrote on our app’s private message board after noticing strange symptoms in her young daughter. “My daughter woke up at 3AM crying of a headache and stomach ache. Her cheeks were rosy and body was burning up. Anyone know what’s going on?”
Immediately, a father replied: “Our 4-year-old daughter and son in kindergarten both have the rosy cheeks. The doctor diagnosed it as Fifth’s disease. There’s definitely a case going around. It’s a virus, and I’ve been told you can’t really treat it – just get through it.” He mentioned she should look it up to see if it matches her daughter's symptoms.
The mom wrote back: “So pretty much a waste of time to head to Urgent Care right away?” She looked into images of Fifth Disease online, and noted it matched her daughter's symptoms. A quick trip to the clinic the next morning confirmed the case.
In many ways, this is the same conversation that happens in the school pick-up line or at the nearby playground anyway. It isn’t an official diagnosis nor is it treated as one, but it offers knowledge and reassurance when parents need it most.
In this case, it also helped that mom avoid pulling both her kids out of bed and heading to Urgent Care in the middle of the night during flu season, which would have been not only inconvenient but expensive for a low income family, and could have potentially led to greater infection and other illnesses.
In cases like this, Kinsa allows parents to react much more quickly than if the school had sent a note home after getting word of the outbreak. By that time, more students would have been infected and more parents worried. As families continue to turn to Kinsa, we see this effect growing even more significant over time.
We're thrilled to see schools like Travis Heights making major strides thanks to FLUency. You can hear more from some of the families and staff at Travis Heights as they share their experience in our video. We're inspired to continue expanding our program across the country in hopes of offering even more parents essential peace of mind.