24 hour urgent care

It’s that time of year again folks. Cold and flu season is officially in full swing, meaning runny and stuff noses, sore throats, fever, cough, and body aches are everywhere to be found (literally).

However, this cold and flu season is expected to be — well, it already is — particularly nasty thanks to the H3N2 virus. According to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last , the season may reach it’s peak this month. In fact, the flu has reached borderline epidemic proportions.

In Erie County, New York, more residents were diagnosed with the flu last week than in any other week since the H1N1 outbreak of October 2009. Erie County’s Department of Health reported 194 flu cases last week. An additional 50 cases were reported mon Monday, bringing the total to a record 498.

It seems that only yesterday Americans were highly concerned — if not paranoid — in regards to the spread of the Ebola virus, so much that some West African immigrants experienced discrimination as a result. While Ebola can be fatal if not treated, influenza is perhaps even deadlier. The Ebola virus resulted in less than five deaths within the United States whereas the flu is considered on the most infamous infectious diseases and one of the country’s leading causes of death, killing nearly 24,000 people each year on average.

In Erie County and across country, hospitals and urgent care facilities are experiencing an influx of cold and flu patients. While urgent care centers have been instrumental to the American healthcare industry by continuing to bridge the gap between hospital emergency departments and traditional physician offices, they are by no means a replacement for emergency care.

Urgent medical care is designed to treat acutely arising illnesses that may not be severe enough to require emergency treatment yet still require some form of immediate medical attention. However, while urgent care facilities are equipped to treat a number of medical conditions, they are by no means a replacement for emergency care.

Those who are elderly and/or who have underlying medical conditions can easily develop flu-related medical complications, such as pneumonia, which can lead to death. Therefore in some flu cases, it may be best to skip treatment at urgent care facilities and go straight to a hospital.

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