MILWAUKEE — After placing air samplers in several schools throughout the Oregon School District in Oregon, Wisconsin last year, researchers are now touting the results of a new study highlighting their success in monitoring and tracking viruses and how they spread in a public setting.

“There are a number of different methods we can use to identify and track respiratory viruses in a school setting,” said Dr. Jonathan Temte, professor of family medicine and community health with the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “One of the innovative ways is by using an air sampler to continuously pull air from a congregate setting and then we can test for the possibility of viruses in that sample.”

Temte, the study’s lead author, said the turnaround time to both collect and test the samples is currently less than a week, though technological advances could reduce that to almost real-time in the future.

“There are new technologies coming out that that time could potentially be cut down to 15 or 20 minutes,” Temte said.

Watch the full interview above.