Are you (18 & 19 year olds) or your child part of the Oregon School District and coming down with a cold or flu? You/They may be eligible to participate in the ORCHARDS Household Study!
ORCHARDS is a public health cold and flu study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led by Jonathan Temte, MD PhD, and Shari Barlow at the UW – Department of Family Medicine. This study involves cold and flu monitoring in students, from grades pre-K through high school (4K-12, ages 4 – 19.5 years) in the Oregon School District. We will identify the viruses causing illness, including influenza and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), in Oregon schools and determine how these illnesses affect school absences.
A student may be eligible if…
- They have a cold or the flu or believe they may be coming down with a cold or the flu
- They have 2 or more of the following symptoms:
- Nasal discharge (runny nose)
- Nasal congestion (stuffy nose)
- Sore throat
- You believe they may be coming down with/have COVID-19
- They have one of the following symptoms:
- Loss of taste/smell
A student may be ineligible if…
- They would be unable to do a nasal swab sample
- Their illness started more than 7 days ago.
How to Participate & What it Involves
The parent of students under 18 years old or students 18 years or older may call 608-265-3164 to hear more information, go over some screening questions, and set up a time for study staff to drop off specimen collection kits if eligible and interested. A study coordinator will typically drop supplies off within 24 hours. Specimens will be collected on the day of specimen drop off, 7 days later, and 14 days later. Study personnel will pick up collection kits the day after specimens are collected.
Age-appropriate assent/consent forms will be included with your collection kits. These are for your records and do not need to be signed or returned to us. The collection forms will include questions on demographic information, illness-related information, and vaccination status. Each participating family will receive a $50 giftcard.
Students may participate in this study more than once. There must be 30 days between illness episodes in order to participate again.
How This Study Benefits the Community
Because this study involves testing for influenza and COVID-19, early detection of these viruses in the school system could help prevent them from spreading.
Study Information & Promotion
Because this study involves a large portion of the Oregon community, we plan to promote this study throughout the area and provide families with as much information as possible.
In the schools:
- If you call the attendance line to notify the school of your child’s absence, the recording will remind you of the opportunity to participate in the study if your child is absent due to cold or flu. Note: Your child does NOT have to be absent to participate.
- If students go home sick during the day, the health office will provide them with a post card about the study.
- If your child receives rapid influenza/SARS-CoV-2 testing in the school health office, they will receive a postcard about the study
- Emails will be sent to students’ parents.
- Postcards will be mailed to each OSD household
In the community:
- Information sessions may be held at schools, churches, and other public sites.
- Flyers and brochures placed in various community settings: grocery stores, libraries, daycares, clinics, primary care medical facilities, and fitness centers.
- Advertisement in local newspapers.
We plan to develop a board of people, including school leaders, interested in aiding with study promotion in the community.
Call 608-265-3164 if you have any questions or would like to participate!