Where do you go when you are sick? Seasonal illness affects millions. Unfortunately, this is a fact of life. Many visit an urgent care center to get treated for their seasonal illness. According to the Urgent Care Association of America, 3 million patients go to urgent care centers per week.
What Urgent Care Centers Do
Urgent care refers to the treatment of medical conditions that are not emergencies (more on that later). For example, if you have the flu, a seasonal illness, if you cut yourself and have not lost much blood, if you have a fever or a sore throat (sometimes related to a seasonal illness), or if something is irritating your eyes–these are conditions that can be treated by an urgent care center.
What Urgent Care Centers Do Not Treat
- Compound fractures (bone showing through skin)
- Heart attack
These are only a few of the conditions for which you would want to go to an emergency room (think 911 call).
Urgent Care for Seasonal Illness
Each season of the year carries its particular seasonal illness. In winter, you may catch a cold. In the spring, you may suffer from allergies. In the summer, you may be bitten by a mosquito. This will cause itching and possibly leave a welt on the affected area. In the fall, flu season begins. Note: You may have the flu virus but symptoms typically do not show up for a few days. Each of these maladies may be treated at your local urgent care center.
Urgent Care for Other Common Illnesses and Injuries
You may have need of urgent care even if you are not suffering from a seasonal illness. For example, you may have eaten something that was not fresh, was not cooked fully, or your digestive tract simply may not like that food that day. The symptom for eating something that does not agree with your digestive tract is often diarrhea. It is unpleasant to talk about, but it is a condition that may be treated by your local urgent care center. Another common injury, especially in children, is a twisted ankle. You, or your child, may twist (sprain) your ankle while playing sports, falling off a bicycle, or from jogging or running. This type of injury is commonly treated by an urgent care center.
Whether you suffer from a seasonal illness, suffer from a more common injury, such as an ankle sprain, or you have symptoms of a medical condition for which you are unaware, an urgent care center in your area is the place to go to get answers and to get treated, if necessary.