Category Archives: Infections


Measles 101: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Many Americans enjoy traveling overseas and experiencing all the world has to offer. Sometimes this means being exposed to illnesses that were previously considered to be eradicated in the United States. One of these illnesses that have had a resurgence in recent years is measles. Let’s review some of the basics regarding the measles and what you need to know to keep your family safe from this potentially deadly disease.

Getting a Measles Shot

The measles, also known as Rubeola, is a highly infectious viral disease. The measles virus can be transmitted easily from person to person in a few ways. In addition to being transmitted through the air by a sneeze or cough, the virus can survive on surfaces or in the air for up to two hours. So, while good hand hygiene in the form of hand washing will prevent exposure by touching, it does nothing to prevent the exposure to airborne particles. This allows measles to spread easily and infect people who do not have immunity to it.

If a person becomes infected, the symptoms will occur within 14 days of the measles exposure. The early symptoms of measles exposure include fever, red and watery eyes, a cough, and a runny nose. These symptoms are followed by white spots in the mouth, accompanied by a red rash that will quickly spread over the body. To avoid measles, people are encouraged to get a measles shot.

mmrMeasles Vaccine

There is a way to avoid contracting the measles and avoiding all the complications that can accompany it. According to the CDC, the measles vaccine can prevent measles. The measles vaccine, referred to as MMR, protects the recipient from three contagious diseases, namely, measles, mumps, and Rubeola. It is recommended that two doses of the vaccine will provide maximum protection. There is no better way to avoid contracting the measles than by receiving the measles vaccine.

How Long Does the Measles Vaccine Last?

You might also ask how long does measles vaccine last? The CDC believes that those who have received two doses of the vaccine are protected for life, and those who were born before 1957 are considered immune. Persons who are not sure if they have received two doses of the measles vaccine are advised to get a booster shot. While deaths from measles in the United States are not common, it presents a significant risk of pneumonia, hearing loss including deafness, and brain damage. Why risk contracting a serious illness when easy protection is available?

measles vaccinationGet Your Vaccination for Measles

At UrgentMED, our well skilled and compassionate professional staff is ready to assist with your vaccination needs, including a measles shot. We pride ourselves on our convenience, efficiency, and cost. With 17 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout southern California, we offer fast, professional services without the wait. We offer weekday, weeknight and weekend hours to serve you on your terms, for your convenience. Let us assist you with all your vaccination and other clinical needs.

symptoms of pink eye

What are the Symptoms of Pink Eye? Can Urgent Care Help?

Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as “Pink Eye,” can be highly contagious. Fortunately, it can also be easily treatable.  It’s important to learn more about this common eye problem. That’s why the UrgentMED network decided to share this guide.

What is Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye?

Bacterial or viral infections cause conjunctivitis or pink eye. It involves inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva that lines the eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. And although it’s called pink eye, the infected eye is actually more reddish than pink, and the eye is swollen or inflamed.  Anyone can get pink eye, but it mostly impacts young children, college students, and teachers, and it spreads quickly.

pink eye symptoms

Common Ways to Get Pink Eye

There are many causes for pink eye, but according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology,  one of the most common reasons includes direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. You can also get a strain of it by not cleaning your contact lenses properly or using poorly fitted contact lenses. Decorative contact lenses will put you at risk, as well.

Signs and Symptoms of Pink Eye

Pink eye is fairly easy to recognize.  Symptoms can vary, depending on the strain of pink eye you have, but overall, some of the most common signs and symptoms are:

  • Redness, itchiness, and a burning sensation in one or both eyes
  • A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
  • A mucus-like thick, sticky discharge in one or both eyes that leads to crusty eyelashes and lids
  • Tearing up
  • Blurred vision, light sensitivity
early symptoms of pink eye

Can Urgent Care Help with Pink Eye?

When should you see a doctor for pink eye? If you suspect you or your child have pink eye, for starters, keep your child out of school, and then come to urgent care. There’s an UrgentMED near you, and one of our doctors will see you right away. They’ll discuss pink eye treatments with you, and of course will also administer treatment. Mild cases of pink eye will go away on their own within a few days. But don’t take any chances. Come in and see a doctor.

Visit an UrgentMED Walk-in Clinic for Pink Eye

You now know the symptoms, and of course – Urgent Care can help. Be sure and visit us for testing and a host of other services. You can also pick up medications, both prescription and non-prescription, and other medical supplies.
The affordable clinics that make up the UrgentMED network provide fast and affordable emergency care, and with 15 locations, we’re conveniently located near you. UrgentMED is the largest comprehensive urgent care network in Southern California. We look forward to helping you stay on a healthy track.

signs of pneumonia

What are the Warning Signs of Pneumonia?

A cough. Fever. Chills. When you think about it, those symptoms would fit the bill for a number of illnesses. But one of the more serious illnesses that produce these symptoms, and more is pneumonia. Pneumonia is a common lung infection that can be mild, but also life-threatening.  Obviously, the sooner you get treatment, the better. But first – how do you know if you have it, and what are the warning signs?  

What is Pneumonia and What Causes It?

Pneumonia is caused by a number of factors, including a virus, bacteria, or fungi, along with environmental factors – such as inhaling various chemicals and environmental agents. But viruses or bacteria are the biggest culprits. Pneumonia can infect one or both of your lungs, and it causes the air sacs of the lungs – or alveoli, to fill up with fluid or pus. Viruses cause about one-third of pneumonia cases in the United States.  Influenza, which is more commonly called the flu virus, is a common cause of viral pneumonia in adults.

How Is Pneumonia Spread?

Depending on the type, pneumonia can be contagious. As we mentioned earlier, bacteria and viruses, which are contagious, cause most cases of pneumonia. These types of pneumonia can easily spread from one person to the next, mostly through a cough or a sneeze. A doctor can tell you how long you’re contagious.

signs and symptoms of pneumonia

Pneumonia Signs and Symptoms

You may miss the early warning signs of pneumonia. That’s because the infection typically starts with a simple cold. It can also start with upper respiratory infections such as a sore throat, nasal congestion, and cough. And here is where it makes a turn.

You will start to get a high fever and experience shaking chills, along with a cough that produces greenish or yellowish thick mucus or phlegm, which may contain blood. You may also then experience a headache and muscle aches, chest pain, and shortness of breath. It will also zap you of your energy- causing fatigue and weakness and the loss of appetite. Older people may experience confusion.

You may have also heard the phrase walking pneumonia. This milder case of pneumonia feels more like a cold and doesn’t typically require bed rest or hospitalization. It is usually treated with over-the-counter medicines. It mostly impacts children 5-years-old and older.

Pneumonia Risk Factors

While pneumonia can hit anyone, some people are more at risk than others. Here are some of the risk factors:

  • Over age 65 and under age 2
  • Weakened immune system
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Smokers
what are the signs of pneumonia

Diagnosing Pneumonia

If you suspect you or someone you know has pneumonia, get to urgent care right away. After a physical exam, the doctor will order an X-ray, which can reveal pneumonia.  You may also need some lab work to examine your sputum, which is a mixture of your mucus and saliva. This will help doctors determine the source of your illness.

Treatments for Pneumonia

Pneumonia treatments vary, depending on the cause of your pneumonia. But the first thing you should do is drink plenty of fluids, which is crucial to flush out toxins. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. You can also take cough medicine and fever reducers/pain relievers. Also, get lots of bed rest. It’s important for you to be under the care of a doctor.

Visit UrgentMED

Visit the affordable clinics that make up the UrgentMED network, where you can get a diagnosis, undergo testing, and pick up your prescriptions, along with over-the-counter medicines, at our in-house pharmacy. We provide fast and affordable emergency care, and with 15 locations, we’re conveniently located near you. UrgentMED is the largest comprehensive urgent care network in Southern California. If you or a loved one has the warning signs of pneumonia, UrgentMED can help. Stop by one of our walk-in clinics today. We look forward to getting you back on a healthy track.

ear infection

When Does An Ear Infection Require Medical Treatment?

An ear infection is caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the fluid within the eustachian tubes of the ear.  There are many different factors that can lead to an ear infection. It can affect the outer, inner, or middle ear. Typically, ear infection symptoms can manifest very quickly. There is often a great deal of pain and discomfort associated with an ear infection. The pain is due to inflammation and fluid build-up within the tiny ear spaces located behind the eardrum.

Sometimes, the discomfort may go away on its own. If the pain does not go away, there are clues to whether medical attention is necessary. The medical experts at UrgentMED specialize in diagnosing ear infections in babies, children, and adults. We want to help you determine if you may need to visit one of our offices for ear infection treatment.  

Ear Infection Symptoms in Infants and Young Children

Here’s what to look for if you think your infant or young child may have an ear infection.

  • You may notice your baby is crying more than normal without the ability to be soothed
  • You may find your toddler keeps tugging at the ear
  • There may be a fever present that persists longer than 48 hours
  • There may be fluid coming out of the affected ear
  • There may be a loss of appetite
  • You may notice that your child is having difficulty sleeping
ear infection symptoms

Ear Infection Symptoms in Adults

  • Fever of 101 or more that does not go away
  • Pain that persists for two or more days
  • Discharge of fluid coming from the affected ear
  • Loss of balance
  • Trouble hearing

Signs that Your Ear Infection Requires Medical Attention

You may need to seek medical attention if you notice a bloody discharge coming from out of the affected ear. There could also be persistent pain that is often associated with an ear infection lasting for 48 hours or more. Other symptoms include a high fever and trouble breathing especially after a cold. If you think you or your family member needs to be seen right away, please visit one of the UrgentMED Clinics. No appointment is necessary.

Common Causes of Ear Infections

Children are more susceptible to getting ear infections than adults. That’s because the eustachian tubes of a child are very small compared to those in adults. Also, their immune systems are still developing. In adults, a cold or respiratory infection can sometimes result in an ear infection. It causes the eustachian tubes to fill with fluid and pressure.

ear infection signs

Ear Infection Treatments and Recommendations

After a proper diagnosis from a medical doctor, there may be a prescription required for antibiotics. It is also common to recommend the use of OTC decongestants, antihistamines, or topical antimicrobials. In some cases, the doctor may also perform a complete cleaning of the outer-ear.

Seek Medical Attention

Our medical team at UrgentMED advises seeking medical care quickly as to avoid any serious risks associated with ear infections. Visiting an UrgentMED clinic does not require an appointment and we are open every day with free parking. With 15 locations around Los Angeles and Anaheim, UrgentMED is the largest comprehensive urgent care network in Southern California. Find a convenient location and let our team help you stay on a healthy track.

wound infection

How to Tell if a Wound is Infected

The body is an incredible machine that can fight invasions, mend bones, and regenerate new skin. Our bodies are so efficient at healing that our wound healing process actually begins within minutes of getting hurt. However, the body’s healing process is occasionally interrupted when germs and bacteria make contact with the damaged skin, causing the area to become infected. This infection not only inhibits the closing of the initial wound but can cause a sickness of its own that can spread to other parts of the body.

Is My Wound Infected?

Do you have a cut, scrape, or burn that looks odd or simply isn’t healing as quickly as you think it should be? Read on to learn how to tell if a wound is infected and how to look out for signature signs of infection.

Warm to the Touch

In the early stages of a healing wound, the injured skin is sealed, and the immune system activates. Within the first 2-5 days of the healing process, white blood cells rush to fight any germs or bacteria that may have entered the wound site. During this time, the wounded area may feel hot to the touch as your body fights any foreign entities – however, should the wound be warm to the touch longer, this can be an indication that your body is struggling to keep the bacteria at bay.

Redness & Swellings

Shortly after a wound occurs, the site of injury may be slightly swollen and tender in addition to pink or reddish-toned. This is quite normal, as blood is being sent to the injured skin to provide oxygen and other necessary nutrients to assist the healing process. However, this usually only takes places within the first few days of the injury. If redness and swelling last longer than five days, it could be a sign that the wound is healing improperly.

Sustained Pain

Experiencing tenderness while dealing with a healing wound is normal. Pain will be more prevalent with deeper, more severe wounds that affect beneath the skin’s surface but will typically resolve itself with two days. However, if you feel sharp or long-lasting pain when making contact with the site of injury, that can be another telltale sign of infection. If the pain does not decrease with pain medication or actually becomes worse, seek a doctor as soon as possible.


Fever is one of the most severe complications that can arise from an infected would. If a wound is infected and not treated in a timely manner, the infection is likely to travel into deeper skin issue. Once hitting the bloodstream, the infection can spread throughout the body resulting in fever and general malaise.

How to Take Care of Your Infected Wound

No matter how small a wound may seem, once becoming infected it can have severe consequences, leading to cellulitis, sepsis, or even necrotizing fasciitis, “the flesh-eating disease.” Don’t put off treating an infected wound – visit UrgentMED Network’s system of walk-in clinics to have a doctor treat your wound with no appointment necessary. Our clinics are open seven days a week to provide fast and affordable service to all Southern California residents – find a clinic near you!