Winter illnesses and cabin fever set in across West Michigan

Skaters take a round at Millennium Park in Portage, Michigan. (WWMT)

The Cunningham family in Portage braved the cold and snow Wednesday to hit the ice rink at Millennium Park on Romence Road.

“As school break comes to an end we need to get out,” Josh Cunningham said. “We need to get some fresh air. Regardless of how cold it is, we can always get some skating in.”

The rink provides a good escape from the doldrums of playing inside. The brutally cold weather has many people cooped up inside for days and weeks on end. Health experts said that means germs are spreading quickly and cabin fever is setting in.

The Cunningham family has two sick boys at home with a stomach bug. The rest of them are hoping to avoid the same illness. Ashley Conklin is a nurse practitioner with Bronson Family Medicine in Battle Creek. She said all of this time spent indoors is a recipe for respiratory illnesses, sinus infections and colds.

“When you’re locked up in your house with maybe your family and you have six of you in there, and somebody gets a virus, you’re just going to pass it around,” Conklin said.

Conklin recommends staying hydrated and taking multivitamins to stay healthy. It’s also important to keep your hands washed and stay away from sick friends and family.

Cunningham said he tells his children to, “Get your rest, keep the fluids up, stay warm.” He also said finding something fun to do outside will wipe those winter blues away.

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