JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - When the temperature drops, it causes everyone to bundle up or head indoors. Some doctors in Region 8 see more sick patients at this time of year.
Dr. Shane Speights said many things during the fall and winter months enhance the chances of people getting sick.
"People don't want to be outside when it's really cold so they congregate in areas whether if it's an office, whether it's in a school classroom," Dr. Speights said.
He said germs spread much faster in shared spaces and allergens in the air don't help.
"Allergen levels can go up during the fall," Speights said. "Also let's remember we are in the middle of flu season."
The cold and flu season brings a lot of kids into the schools nurse's office. Melissa Blaske, Jonesboro School District head nurse, said luckily they haven't seen too many flu cases.
"I know we are starting to see a lot more colds," Blaske said. "I have not heard of any flu, yet."
When kids go home sick, though, they risk infecting the rest of the family. Blaske is a mother of two and takes steps to prevent the spread of germs in her home.
"We do Lysol at my house," Blaske said. "Of course, we hand wash, again try to keep everybody separated from each other as much as possible."
Dr. Speights said a lack of sleep can also make you sick and Blaske said she sees that a lot with students.
"They stay up late," Blaske said. "They are either working on homework or some do video games, so lack of sleep, lack of good nutrition."
"If you don't get that amount of sleep, then you can't have your body repair itself," Speights said. "You can't have a good immune system to fight off viruses and the common cold."
Sleep or no sleep, Dr. Speights and Nurse Blaske agree to prevent sickness, everyone must wash their hands. Blaske also encourages everyone to cough into their sleeve.
With winter months ahead, Blaske said they are prepared to see more kids with cold and flu like symptoms.
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