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University of Wisconsin–Madison
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The Wisconsin Idea in Action

ORCHARDS - ORegon CHild Absenteeism due to Respiratory Disease Study

The primary goal of this project is to create and evaluate an influenza surveillance system using cause-specific school absenteeism rates. The proposed system will bring together low-cost, low-complexity rapid influenza testing of students absent due to an acute respiratory illness, molecular confirmation of the rapid test, and comparison of the system with multiple established, well-functioning, and concentric influenza surveillance systems. Should this system be found timely, sensitive and specific for influenza outbreaks in a community, it could be easily translated to other school districts and settings.


From 1/06/2015—6/08/2017, influenza A and B were detected in 249 and 93 of 1,514 visited students in the Oregon School District, respectively. Of medically attended influenza (MAI) patients at five Dane County surveillance clinics, 630 had influenza A and 246 had influenza B. Over the first 3 years of ORCHARDS, absenteeism due to illness was significantly correlated with MAI in the community with a 15-day lead time. Absenteeism due to influenza-like illness was significantly correlated with MAI in the community with a 1-day lead time. Total absenteeism performed poorly, following MAI by 9 days. This system allows a replicable and inexpensive system to monitor for influenza.

Focus Areas

Project Leader

Jon Temte
Primary Investigator

Family Medicine
School or College
School of Medicine and Public Health

This project was last updated on Apr 24, 2019. Do you have an update for this project? Find out how to contribute.