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Sore throat? Find Out If It's Viral or Strep

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

A sore throat (pharyngitis) is a common problem and it is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. 

Viruses can cause a sore throat and other upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold. Sore throat caused by a virus is not treated with antibiotics but instead may be treated with rest, pain medication, and other therapies aimed at relieving symptoms. 

Strep throat is a particular kind of pharyngitis that is caused by a bacterium known as group A streptococcus (GAS). Strep throat is treated with a course of antibiotics.

Viral Pharyngitis - Most people with a sore throat have a virus.

Symptoms of a viral infection can include:

  • A runny or congested nose
  • Irritation or redness of the eyes
  • Cough, hoarseness, or soreness in the roof of the mouth.
  • Some viruses cause a fever

Influenza (flu) virus is a common cause of sore throat during the flu season. Antiviral medication is indicated if your symptoms started within 72 hours.

Strep Pharyngitis - Approximately 10% of adults with a sore throat have strep throat.

Symptoms:

  • Pain in the throat
  • Fever (temperature greater than 100.4ºF)
  • Enlarged lymph glands in the neck
  • White patches of pus on the side or back of the throat
  • No cough, runny nose or irritation/redness of the eyes.

When to seek urgent help:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin rash
  • Drooling because you cannot swallow
  • Swelling of the neck or tongue
  • Stiff neck or difficulty opening the mouth
  • Underlying chronic illness/medication that may impair your immune system.

At Statcare Urgent Medical Care, we can diagnose your streptococcal throat infection by a rapid strep test, which takes less than 5 minutes to yield a result. We also have an in-house rapid flu test available to diagnose influenza, if indicated.

No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.

Source: CDC

When to seek urgent help — See your doctor or nurse immediately if you have a sore throat along with any of the following:

5 Things You Could Do To Help Fight Gray Hair

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

Our hair color comes from a pigment called melanin. With age, melanin is reduced which is why our hair turns gray and ultimately, white once there's no melanin left.

In 2016, researchers discovered a gene that accounts for 30% of hair graying. The research study involved 6000 people living in five Latin American countries. They looked into these populations because they represent a good mix of backgrounds. Kaustubh Adhikari, a research associate in cell and developmental biology at University College London, was the lead author of the study.

The other 70% is likely due to factors such as age, toxic exposures, nutritional deficiencies and stress.

To limit gray hair:

  1. Avoid smoking: There is a significant association between tobacco use and graying of hair.
  2. Minimize oxidative stress by avoiding pollution and stress: Oxidative stress may be defined as a state in which our free radicals (from pollution, poor diet, stress) outnumber our antioxidant defenses (from healthy diet). Graying hair may be an indicator of oxidative stress-induced damage.
  3. Eat a healthy antioxidant rich diet: The following are rich in antioxidants: Goji berries, wild blueberries, dark chocolate, pecans, artichoke, elderberries, kidney beans, cranberries, balckberries, cilantro.
  4. Increase vitamin B12 intake: Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with graying of hair. The following are rich in vitamin B12: Shellfish, liver, fish, crab, fortified soy products (tofu, soymilk), fortified cereals, red meat, low fat dairy, cheese and eggs.
  5. Normalize weight: Obesity is associated with graying of hair.

Source: Adhikari, K. et al. A genome-wide association scan in admixed Latin Americans identifies loci influencing facial and scalp hair features. Nat. Commun. 7:10815 doi: 10.1038/ncomms10815 (2016).


NY offers free colorectal cancer screening

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) announced earlier this month that the number of New Yorkers getting screened for colon cancer has increased by more than 100,000 from 2014 to 2015. 

More than 9,000 New Yorkers are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year and the disease claims nearly 3,000 lives each year. 

Screening for colorectal cancer is covered by most health plans, including Medicaid and health plans participating in NY State of Health, New York's official health plan marketplace. The NYSDOH Cancer Services Program (CSP) offers free screening to eligible uninsured men and women in every county and borough in New York. To find a CSP near you, call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262) or visit:

http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/community_resources/ 

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends initiating screening for colorectal cancer at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years

Certain individuals at an increased or high risk of colorectal cancer should get screened before age 50 and/or should be screened more often. The following conditions make your risk higher than average:

  • A personal history of rectal cancer or adenomatous polyps.
  • A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease).
  • A strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.
  • A known family history of hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or HNPCC).

Our goal at Statcare Urgent Medical Care is to reach 100% eligible patients.

Click here to read more about colorectal cancer.

Walk-in to any of our clinics and talk to our providers about getting screened. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.


Walk In Sports Physical in NY

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

Every participant in a school sports team is required to complete a pre-participation physical examination, also called sports physical. Statcare Urgent Medical Care offers sports physicals at all our locations. Sports physicals consist of two parts: a medical history and a physical examination. The goals of sports physicals are to evaluate an athlete's general health, current fitness level, risk of injury and physical well-being. 

A sports physical allows a healthcare provider to identify any conditions that might keep the athlete out of the game or affect performance. Athletes should have a physical six weeks before the start of the sport season; however this can vary due to changing sport seasons. This timing provides an opportunity to address an existing injury or improve conditioning prior to participation in the activity.

Our healthcare providers perform sports physicals at all our locations. Notifying the provider of any relevant information regarding previous hospitalizations or surgeries, illnesses or diseases within the family, medications, past injuries or allergies will help the physical run smoothly.

Even if your child has received a general physical, it is important to also receive a sports physical prior to participation in sports or physical activity. Sports physicals are more targeted and specifically focus on the physical requirements needed to play a sport. If your child is involved in sports on an on-going basis, it is recommended they receive a sports physical annually.

What to bring?

  • Your child's eye glasses if they wear one.
  • Your child's immunization records.

What to expect?

Step one

  • Questions regarding serious illnesses among other family members.
  • Questions regarding past illnesses, injuries, hospitalizations and surgeries.
  • Questions about any medications your child is on.
  • Height, weight, blood pressure and pulse measurement.
  • Vision check.

Step two

  • Inform the provider if your child has passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain, or experienced strained breathing during exercise.
  • Heart, lung, abdomen, ear, nose and throat examination.
  • Posture, joints, strength and flexibility assessment.

At the end of the visit, your healthcare provider will stamp the medical forms required.

When you visit Statcare Urgent Medical Care, you can get your child's sport physical done without having to wait in long lines. You can even check in online prior to your visit. We are open 7 days a week. You do not need an appointment. With extended hours, Statcare Urgent Medical Care makes it easy to receive a sports physical and return to the game. Walk in and be seen now!


7 Things You Shouldn't Refrigerate

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

According to the Food and Drug Administration, your refrigerator should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. Chilling foods to proper temperatures is one of the best ways to slow the growth of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses.

Here are 7 food items that should not be stored in the refrigerator. They should be stored at room temperature.

  1. Tomatoes: They lose their flavor and texture when refrigerated. Cold temperature damages the membranes inside its walls, making them lose flavor and become mushy. Cold air also stops the ripening process. Ripe tomatoes are meant to be eaten within a couple of days, so buy them in small amounts as needed.
  2. Potatoes: Keeping a potato in the refrigerator will turn its starch into sugar more quickly and that will make them sweet and gritty in nature. This increases their sugar content.
  3. Onions: If you put onions in the refrigerator, the moisture will eventually turn them soft and moldy. Chopped or sliced onions can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a few days.
  4. Coffee: If you leave coffee in the refrigerator, it will lose its flavor and may take some of the odors in the refrigerator. Coffee beans are hygroscopic and they absorb moisture from the surrounding area. Larger quantities of coffee can be stored in the freezer.
  5. Honey: Keeping honey in the refrigerator can cause it to crystallize. Extreme cold temperatures can spoil its taste and texture.
  6. Avocados: Avocados sulk in the refrigerator. They ripen best at room temperature.
  7. Bread: Wheat flour, the primary ingredient in bread, is packed full of granules of starch. When exposed to moisture (in the refrigerator), the starch breaks down and becomes increasingly amorphous. This causes the bread to dry out quickly.

Source: FDA


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