Acute Illness (Cold, Diarrhea, Fever, Flu, and Vomiting) – Fort Worth, TX

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Overview

Among the winter months, a great number of our patients are diagnosed with strains of the common cold and flu. The symptoms of the two are commonly confused and can only be properly diagnosed with lab testing. If left undiagnosed, the flu can cause severe dehydration, malnutrition, and further complications. If you are suffering from vomiting, fever, and diarrhea, you could be suffering from a cold or the flu, and University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, TX can help. Our physicians are board certified in emergency medicine and are equipped to quickly diagnose your condition. Our facility serves the Paschal, TCU, Frisco Heights, and Tanglewood areas and features a state-of-the-art, onsite laboratory, for your convenience.

Seeking Medical Care

People who have diminished immune systems, chronic inflammation, have had an organ or bone marrow transplant, are undergoing chemotherapy, or have HIV/AIDS need to seek medical treatment at the earliest signs of sickness. In healthy individuals, the cold or flu can often be treated at home with rest and hydration. However, you should seek medical treatment at University Urgent Care if you exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Fever over 103º F, or a low-grade fever persisting for three or more days
  • Sweating while also feeling cold
  • Chest pain
  • Severe headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Continuous vomiting and/or diarrhea

About the Flu

Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a contagious viral respiratory illness. The illness can cause mild to severe symptoms. Severe influenza cases can result in hospitalization and even death. Although they are both respiratory illnesses caused by a virus, your symptoms are the easiest way to tell the difference between a common cold and the flu. The flu can easily be transferred from person to person when infected individuals spread tiny droplets of bodily fluid when they cough, sneeze, or talk. Infected individuals are contagious starting one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after.

Since the influenza virus can be life-threatening in severe cases, it’s essential to be seen and treated by a doctor if you suspect you have the flu. Our team of board-certified medical professionals is here to analyze your symptoms and diagnose your condition. Whether you need to be seen after regular doctor’s office hours or want quick, attentive treatment, you can stop by our urgent care facility seven days a week for medical care.

If you have the flu, you might experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever above 100°F
  • Severe body aches in the muscles and joints
  • Weakness or severe fatigue
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Warm, flushed skin
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea is most common in children

Flu symptoms come on suddenly. Active flu strains vary from year to year, but influenza A and B are the most common types.

Flu Treatment Options

The best way to handle the influenza virus is through preventative measures. The CDC recommends all individuals get a flu vaccine each year to reduce flu-related illness and the risk of serious complications. In addition to getting your flu shot annually, you can prevent the flu by:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Covering coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently washing your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Practice good health habits at home
    • Keep frequently touched surfaces clean
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Be physically active
    • Manage stress
    • Drink plenty of fluids
    • Follow a healthy diet

If you contract the flu virus despite following these preventative measures, make an appointment with University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, Texas, or with your local healthcare provider.

About Mono

Mononucleosis, also known as mono, is an infectious disease predominantly found in teenagers and young adults. Often referred to as the “kissing disease,” mono is spread by contact with the saliva or mucus of a person with or carrying this virus. As with most viral infections, there is no cure for mono. And because the disease presents with a wide range of symptoms, it often goes undetected or undiagnosed. While mono isn’t considered a severe illness, the symptoms can be so severe that patients are left unable to participate in normal activities for weeks. The good news is that once you are diagnosed with the disease, several treatment options will get you feeling better fast.

University Urgent Care is here to help evaluate your symptoms and provide mono treatment advice if you’ve been diagnosed with the disease. See our qualified team of nurse practitioners seven days a week from 10 AM- 8 PM for all your urgent care needs. In the meantime, let’s discuss the signs and symptoms of mono and your best treatment options.

What is Mononucleosis?

Usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, mononucleosis is a common disease among teens and young adults, especially college students. While one in four teens and young adults with EBV will develop infectious mononucleosis, the condition can affect anyone at any age. Mono is often referred to as the kissing disease because it is acquired by contact with the saliva of a person who has or is carrying the virus. In some cases, however, it can be spread by coughing and sneezing. Additionally, mono is occasionally spread by sharing food or tableware with an infected individual. Mono is most common in individuals ages 15-17 and young adults in their 20s. The incubation period for symptoms can be anywhere from four to six weeks. Symptoms can last anywhere from one week to a couple of months before patients feel well enough to resume normal activities.

While the full range of signs makes it hard to diagnose mono, reported symptoms of the disease include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph glands in the neck, armpits, or groin
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches or weakness
  • White patches in the throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Skin rash

In more severe cases, patients can develop an enlarged spleen. Most cases of mono are diagnosed by a physical exam by a healthcare provider. You may also need to have your blood tested for EPV antibodies, elevated white blood cell count, or abnormal-looking lymphocytes.

How Do You Treat Mono?

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to protect patients from getting infectious mononucleosis. There is also no specific treatment to cure your condition if you’ve contracted the virus. Treatment options for mono focus on relieving symptoms and nursing yourself back to good health.

The most common treatments for mono are at-home remedies to ease your symptoms. These include:

  • Increased hydration– Drink plenty of water, tea, broth, and juice. As with any illness that comes with a fever and other sinus issues, increased hydration can bring down your temperature and soothe your sore throat. Additionally, drinking more can help prevent dehydration and keep our energy level up to help fight the disease.
  • Rest– One of the most important ways to combat mono is to get lots of rest. This shouldn’t be difficult because many patients report that fatigue leaves them unable to participate in normal activities. If you’re feeling tired, take the time to rest. Give yourself time to recover. Trying to push yourself through will not be useful when dealing with mono.
  • Use over-the-counter medications– Over-the-counter pain medications can help deal with common symptoms such as headache, fever, and muscle aches. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are great options to help combat common symptoms. You can also take OTC cold and flu medications that contain pain medications, depending on how your symptoms present themselves.
  • Avoid strenuous activity– As mentioned earlier, now is not the time to push yourself. It’s particularly important to avoid strenuous activities while your body heals. Patients are advised to stay away from sports or weight lifting for four to six weeks after diagnosis. This is particularly important for patients with an enlarged spleen, as substantial activity can cause the spleen to rupture.
  • Sore throat relief– For patients with a severe sore throat, there are several things you can do at home for comfort. Gargle with saltwater, use sore throat lozenges, suck on popsicles or ice chips, use warm liquids to soothe your throat, and rest your voice as much as possible.
  • Boost your immune system– The more you boost your immune system, the better your body will be equipped to fight the virus. Focus on antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory foods like green vegetables, apples, whole-grains, green tea, and salmon. Stay away from sugary snacks, refined white bread, fried foods, and alcohol. Talk to your doctor about taking supplements like omega-3, echinacea, and probiotics.

Signs It’s Time to Visit University Urgent Care

The best way to deal with mono is to prevent the disease altogether. Protect yourself by not kissing people you aren’t closely connected with or that you know are carrying the virus. Avoid sharing drinks, food, or personal items, like toothbrushes.

If you have any of the following symptoms, visit a healthcare provider right away:

  • Extremely painful sore throat
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing

In rare cases, when mono causes an enlarged spleen, the spleen can rupture. If you experience sudden, sharp, severe pain in the left side of your upper abdomen, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital immediately. For non-emergent mono cases, the team at University Urgent Care is here when you need us.

About Bronchitis

Dealing with a cold or cough can be a challenge in daily life. Many patients don’t know when to self-treat these conditions and when to see a doctor. While both conditions are common and often go away on their own, there are some cases where a chest cold can progress into bronchitis, a more severe respiratory illness. Our team of knowledgeable healthcare professionals at University Urgent Care is here seven days a week to help diagnose your symptoms and provide a treatment plan for non-emergency conditions like these. With little to no wait time and extended hours, we’ll provide a treatment plan that gets you feeling better fast.

Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of the Common Cold

At some point in your life, you’ve probably suffered from the common cold. It is a viral infection of the nose and throat that presents with respiratory symptoms. The common cold is usually harmless, but the symptoms can be hard to ignore. Most cases of the common cold go away within a week to 10 days, but patients with certain medical conditions and smokers often notice longer recovery times.

The most common symptoms of a cold include:

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Headache
  • Slight body aches
  • Low-grade fever
  • Sneezing
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise

Because a virus causes the common cold, there are no medications to treat it. The most common cause is the rhinovirus, which enters the body through the mouth, eyes, or nose. It is spread through droplets in the air when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or talks. It can also be spread by hand-to-hand contact with someone who has a cold.

While anyone can catch a common cold, certain factors put some patients at a higher risk. These include:

  • Age
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Time of year
  • Smoking
  • Exposure

There is no cure for the common cold, but healthcare professionals do advise treatment to relieve symptoms. This includes:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication for fever, sore throat, and headache
  • Decongestant nasal sprays for adults with severe congestion
  • Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines in patients over five years of age
  • Increased hydration
  • The use of warm liquids to soothe the throat and ease congestion
  • Rest to let your body heal
  • Increase humidity in your room to moisten the air
  • The use of salt water to gargle or lozenges to ease the symptoms of a sore throat

Here are some ways you can ease the symptoms of a cough when you have a common cold:

  • Use cough drops or hard candy to keep your throat moist. Over-the-counter cough drops with menthol are particularly helpful because their numbing properties help soothe your throat.
  • A more traditional remedy for a cough is to add a teaspoon of honey to tea or warm beverages.
  • Be sure to stay hydrated. This keeps your throat moist and avoids irritation. Stay away from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages that can dry you out.
  • Try warm broths and beverages to heat your airways and break up mucus.
  • In some cases, over-the-counter cough medicine may be necessary, especially at night.
  • You can also try over-the-counter decongestants to clear up congestion. This will help eliminate the effects of postnasal drip that can irritate the throat and make patients cough.
  • Rest. Give your body the support it needs to fight off the virus.
  • Breathe in steam. You can use a humidifier or vaporizer or close the door to the bathroom and run a hot shower. Breathe in the steam to help moisten your respiratory tract and loosen up mucus.

In some cases, the common cold can turn into bronchitis. That’s why it’s essential to watch the progression of any cough symptoms.

When a Cough Turns into Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis, often referred to as a chest cold, occurs when the airways of the lungs swell and produce mucus in the lungs. This makes you cough.

Symptoms of acute bronchitis include:

  • Coughing with mucus
  • Soreness or tightness in the chest
  • Fatigue
  • Wheezing sound when you breathe
  • Fever

Visit University Urgent Care to Treat Colds, Cough, and Bronchitis

If your symptoms persist or worsen over time, you should be checked by a doctor. Stop by University Urgent Care if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • A temperature of 100.4 °F or higher
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood, bloody mucus, or pink, foamy mucus
  • Coughing up mucus that is green, tan, or yellow
  • Chest pain when you take a breath
  • A cough that continues after cold symptoms resolve
  • A cough that lasts more than 2-3 weeks
  • Wheezing
  • Repeated symptoms of cold, cough, or bronchitis

In most cases, a healthcare provider can perform a physical exam to diagnose your condition. For acute bronchitis, a chest X-ray, sputum test, or pulmonary function test may be necessary. Your healthcare provider may also recommend a prescription cough medicine, inhaler, or steroids to reduce inflammation in severe cases.

Whatever your symptoms may be, our team is here to help you treat your condition and get you on the road to feeling better.

What to Expect

Upon your arrival to University Urgent Care, our physicians will assess your symptoms and ask you about your medical history, as well as any medications you may be taking. They will then perform a thorough examination. Typically our physicians will request lab work to determine the root cause of your symptoms. Our onsite laboratory features advanced technology and can return test results in as little as 15 minutes on most occasions. After diagnosis, our physicians will decide the best treatment option for you. This could include anti-nausea medications, flu medications, or instructions to simply rest and rehydrate.

After Your Visit

Regardless of your diagnosis and recommended treatment, resting is highly important to your recovery. As cold and flu viruses are spread by germs, we strongly encourage you to remain at home during your illness. During this time, we recommend you keep hydrated and rest. If our physicians prescribe your medication, it is important that you fill them and begin taking them as soon as possible. You should continue taking your medicine for the full length of time prescribed, even if you begin to feel better. If your symptoms do not subside or you begin to feel worse, you should return to University Urgent Care for further medical treatment.

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Illness Relief Starts Here

Cold and flu season return in full force year after year, and unfortunately most of us are all too familiar with their company. University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, TX has a highly skilled medical staff and an advanced facility, equipped to diagnose and treat your illness in a time efficient manner so that you can feel better, faster. If you are suffering from these symptoms and are desperate for relief, stop by University Urgent Care today. Our facility is open seven days a week, staffed with qualified individuals and featuring private examination rooms to assist us in seeing you to recovery.

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