Avoiding spring break illnesses

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Spring break is in full swing for tens of thousands of local students. While many people may have big travel plans, many others are stuck in bed- sick.

Upper respiratory infections and the flu have been the most common reasons for visits to the doctor this week. That means several people suffering from nasal congestion, a runny nose, a fever and a sore throat during spring break.

Whether you're headed on a tropical getaway or planning a staycation, our local doctors want to make sure you're aware of the pesky germs that wait.

Don't let a sore throat, high fever or congestion ruin your spring break. CareSpots around Jacksonville say that in the weeks leading up to the big break, upper respiratory infections and Influenza A and B have heavily increased- both of which are extremely contagious.

“I would recommend, if you have plans for spring break- maybe keep your child at home because it can spread,” said Lilibeth Tulang-Cuevas with CareSpot. She says these germs are airborne and when you're in crowded places like the beach, the mall or daycare, you can easily transmit to other people.

“That's why we always say stay home when you're sick. When you have a fever, you have to stay home,” said Tulang- Cuevas.

What about Zika? There's no vaccine to prevent or treat the disease- which is why the CDC continues to advise travelers to protect themselves from mosquito bites and unprotected sex-especially if you're traveling to Mexico and hot spots in the Caribbean, like Jamaica.

“It's still a concern but not necessarily in Florida or in our area but if they are traveling to South America, you have to be very cautious,” said Tulang-Cuevas.

Make sure you have your travel immunizations. Check the CDC website to find out what illnesses are occurring in the region you're traveling to.

“It's always important to be aware and prepared and I think that is the best thing that anyone can do before they travel,” said Tuland-Cuevas.

If you're planning a staycation, you're in trouble if you suffer from allergies! Our pollen count remains elevated so congestion, itchy eyes, and a runny nose will make it difficult to enjoy the break if you aren't prepped with allergy medications.