CDC Outfits Students with Tracking Devices for Flu Research

Jack Kelly
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With the help of children who’ll be off of school for Tuesday’s election, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh hope to find out if school closings can slow the spread of flu and other disease.

Today researchers will distribute remote sensors called motes to about 450 students at Borland Manor Elementary and North Strabane Intermediate schools in the Canon-McMillan School District in Washington County. Students will wear the motes, the size of a beeper and weighing 3 ounces, on lanyards around their necks today, Tuesday and during the school day Wednesday. Researchers will collect the motes before school is dismissed.

Powered by batteries, motes send out a signal that will detect another mote when they get close to each other, and the encounter is electronically recorded. Data collected from motes should give researchers a comprehensive picture of how often children interact.

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