Category Archives: Infections

urinary tract infection

How to Tell If Your UTI is Minor or Severe

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a relatively common ailment, with almost half of women worldwide saying they’ve had a UTI at some point. There are several signs that are easy to recognize. UTI symptoms include feeling a burning sensation every time you urinate, or when you go to the bathroom frequently, passing little urine. Feeling pressure or even pain in your lower abdomen or your back may also be a sign. Other symptoms include foul-smelling urine, or if it is cloudy or even bloody. While having a UTI you might feel tired and experience fever or chills.

What is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of your urinary system – kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Women are at a greater risk of developing a UTI than men. So what are the causes of UTIs? In women, it may be caused by wiping from back to front after using the bathroom as this can introduce bacteria in the urethra. Sexual intercourse may also be responsible for getting a UTI, and often, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and UTIs share common symptoms. UTI’s can be transmitted from one person to another. Other causes of UTI can include:

  • Lack of proper hygiene 
  • Some birth control methods 
  • Having kidney stones 
  • Not drinking enough water 

Being a diabetic or being pregnant will make you more prone to these infections also.

utiWhen Should I Worry?

An unchecked UTI can turn into a very serious kidney infection. In can also become a blood infection if you do not treat it right away, or turn into a life-threatening problem. A UTI may happen anywhere along the urinary tract, though some parts are more problematic than others. For example, the urethra is easier to deal with than the opposite end – your kidneys.

The best time to worry and do something about it? The second you realize you have a UTI. If treated properly and early on, a UTI is barely a problem and is more of an annoyance, as it may itch or burn. Unchecked, however, it can lead to serious consequences.

What Should I Do?

The first thing you should do upon realizing you have a UTI is seeking out medical attention. Have your doctor test your urine for UTI and listen to the doctor’s recommendations and advice. The typical course of action will be to take antibiotics in order to fight the infection. Cranberry is often recommended as it seems to fight the bacteria that tends to cause UTIs but do not expect cranberry juice to be a cure. 

what is a utiIf you think you might be suffering from a UTI, contact UrgentMed to get evaluated. We pride ourselves on our convenience, efficiency, and cost. Our 18 walk-in urgent clinics are conveniently located throughout Southern California, providing fast, professional service without a long wait. Visit us at the location closest to you today.

staph infection

Could a Lump Really Be a Staph Infection?

In one word, yes. If you have a lump on the surface or even just below the surface of the skin, you may have a staph infection. These lumps tend to be full of pus and may resemble an abscess or a boil. The bacteria that causes this infection is called staphylococcus, and it tends to cause little to no problems. In fact, approximately 25 percent of people normally carry staph in their nose or mouth, without infection symptoms. When they do cause a problem, it tends to be a minor skin infection. There are cases, however, in which it turns into a staph infection, and those have the potential to turn quite deadly, as they may invade your lungs or heart, bones, joints, and blood. A staph infection can cause impetigo, cellulitis, food poisoning, and even toxic shock syndrome!

Signs of a Staph Infection

Staph infection generally begins as a small area of tenderness, redness, and swelling. A staph infection may cause low blood pressure, and may also cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, which will lead to dehydration. The more common symptoms are pus-filled lumps, oozing blisters, and boils in general. While it is rare, a staph infection does have the potential to turn deadly once the bacteria reach deeper into the body and enter the bloodstream. If the infection is at this level, you should expect fevers, as well as joint and muscle pain.

signs of a staph infectionWhat are the Treatments for Staph?

Your healthcare provider can do a physical exam and evaluate your symptoms. They may also do a culture or other diagnostic tests. If you’re diagnosed with a staph infection, the first thing your doctor will want to do is drain the boils and remove as much of the infection as possible. Following that, most medical professionals prescribe antibiotics. However, some strains have become resistant to antibiotics, which have led to the use of stronger IV antibiotics such as vancomycin. If your infection involves a prosthetic, your doctor will make sure to remove it immediately. 

Is it Contagious?

Yes, a staph infection can be contagious. If you come directly in contact with an infected boil or wound, you will be at risk. The infection remains contagious as long as it is active. The good news is that casual contact, such as shaking hands, should not result in a transfer of the infection.

treatments for staphWhen Should You See Your Doctor?

If you develop an unusual lump, red area, irritated skin or pain, and sensitivity, you should consult your doctor. Blisters and boils oozing pus are definitely a sign you should consult your medical professional.

At UrgentMED, we have 18 clinics offering fast and affordable medical care. We are the largest comprehensive urgent care network in Southern California, offering a range of services in one location, including physical examinations, laboratory testing, and an in-house pharmacy. If you are concerned about an unusual lump, don’t wait for it to turn into a staph infection. Stop by one of our walk-in clinics today.

measles

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.