Onslow Co. debuts asthma education kits to raise awareness about possible triggers

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Out of 20 million asthma sufferers nationwide, seven million are kids who miss dozens of days of school due to their symptoms.

The Onslow County Health Department hopes to change that.

It’s offering a new consultation service using asthma education kits.

The board of commissioners approved the asthma education kits for $4,000 last year.

Inside of them are common allergens that could trigger asthma; everything from dust mites in stuffed animals, to exhaled smoke from a cigarette and roaches.

Nurses with the initiative will travel to local schools and offer private consultations with families to help them put their health back in their own hands.

“Our main goal is to reduce asthma-related hospitalizations, reduce school missed days or work days as well as reduce the medical care costs and emergency visits,” Mary Jane Burlaza, a public health nurse, said.

Health officials say it will also keep the cost of hospital bills down.

In Onslow County in 2014, 137 patients were hospitalized from asthma with a cost per patient of $4,000.

If you’d like to make an appointment for the service call the health department at 910-347-2154.

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