Outbreaks of illness have been sweeping through schools and businesses in recent weeks. Medical officials say those places are a breeding ground for germs because people are in close contact with each other for long periods of time. They are hoping this week’s school vacation will help. Medical officials say the worst could be over when kids return to school, if parents do a few simple things. They say making sure children get plenty of rest, eat well, and take a break from stress over vacation can make a difference. “Bundle them up even if they are sick and they just want to sit there in the sun.” Said Blue Hill Memorial Hospital nurse practitioner Zoe Tenney. “That sunlight and fresh air are absolutely important for boosting their immune system.” Tenney says there is a lot of pressure for parents to keep their kids in school and keeping themselves at work. She says if you feel sick, feverish or you’re coughing, staying home is the best thing to do. This year may seem worse but bouts of illness go through communities every winter. Nurse Tenney says the illness usually passes by early spring but getting kids over the worst this week will be a big step in the right direction.