Infections

COVID testing , Antigen versus RNA

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Tests explained !

There are many tests available at this point. Some are done with blood and some with swabs from the nasopharynx and now some from saliva samples.

The MOST accurate test available is the RT-PCR test, most often performed using a nasopharyngeal swab. These tests are typically sent out to a lab that can perform this very sophisticated test. There is one manufacturer at present that makes this test available to do in the clinic but it is not widely available.

The commonly advertised RAPID test uses an "antigen" test. This machine looks for the presence of proteins from the virus whereas the RT-PCR test looks for the genetic material RNA from the virus. The rapid antigen test is NOT as accurate. In fact there is discussion that a patient with symptoms suggestive of COVID who has a negative antigen test should STILL HAVE a RT-PCR test to confirm that the rapid antigen test is correct.

Most experts agree the best use for the RAPID ANTIGEN test is to screen asymptomatic patients, not to diagnose COVID in someone with symptoms.

Suncoast Urgent Care is currently just performing the RT-PCR test and we have very consistently had 48 hour turnaround times for this test.

If you need a test to travel out of the country, or for return to school in Pasco and Pinellas counties, these all require the RT-PCR test, they will NOT accept an antigen test.

When Does Your Child Need to Be Seen for a Fever?

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

As a new parent, it can be easy to get excited over every little thing that your baby does. And just as you squeal at every coo, it’s easy to get carried away when your baby doesn’t feel well. Not every fever is cause for alarm, and not every cough needs to be addressed by a physician. 

So when should you take your child to the doctor for a fever? It really depends on what else is going on.

If your child has a fever and no other symptoms, it could be several things that could resolve on their own. These include possibilities like: (more…)

When You Should Get Tested for COVID-19

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Most people are very concerned about the risk of contracting the coronavirus, and for good reason. Numbers of infected and positive tests increase more and more every day, and these numbers still aren’t representative of the total infection rate due to a lack of testing. 

However, testing is becoming more widely available as more American manufacturers develop, test, and release these COVID-19 tests. Some of the tests for COVID-19 are not well tested and may not be accurate, but it is still a good idea to get tested depending on your symptoms and other factors. (more…)

When You Should Not Assume That It’s Allergies

Friday, May 15th, 2020

Although it is almost summer, springtime allergies are still a problem for many people. Every year, more and more people are affected by seasonal allergies. These allergies can begin anytime during your lifetime, and symptoms are usually very mild in the first couple of seasons. Allergy symptoms include chronic cough, sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, and nasal congestion. 

These symptoms can also be a sign of other health conditions. It is important to make an appointment with your primary care doctor or an allergist if you think you may have allergies so that you can be tested and treated for seasonal allergies. But in the meantime, there are a few things to watch for that should send you to urgent care right away instead of waiting for an appointment.

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COVID-19 Antibody Testing

Friday, May 1st, 2020

Suncoast Urgent Care now offers testing for IgG antibody to the SARS-CoV-2 virus !

Insured Patients : sign up for a telemedicine visit with one of our physicians. Complete a brief series of questions related to your medical history and the presence of any symptoms of illness (you do not have to have any symptoms). Next you will be directed to come to the office to have a blood test drawn and expect your results within 2-3 days !

Self Pay Patients : The test without insurance costs $109 . You will go through the same steps ! Sign up for an appointment using our telemedicine platform. Fees are collected up front for the entire process. After completing the telemedicine visit you will be directed to come to one of our clinics for your blood test.

Suncoast Urgent Care is sending our blood tests out to a high complexity lab to perform an "immunoassay" to test for antibody. This is a highly accurate test, not a test performed on site like a rapid strep test. The tests being performed by some clinics on-site have been shown to be unreliable as has been reported on the news. When a reliable onsite test does become available we will offer both options.

Keep in mind, antibody tests are not used to detect the presence of the virus. This test detects whether you have formed antibodies to the virus which implies you have been exposed and developed an immune response to the virus (it does not however guarantee you are immune to the virus). IgG antibody takes about 10 days to develop after infection. This is not a test to perform on someone who is currently having symptoms for less than 10 days.

Click here to book your telemedicine visit !

When to Seek Treatment for Congestion

Monday, July 15th, 2019

A summer cold can quickly turn ugly if it is prolonged. Although most congestion clears up on its own, there are some symptoms that could mean it is time to see a doctor for treatment. Whether you have sinus congestion or chest congestion, you should seek treatment if your symptoms last longer than 10 days. Here are some other reasons you should seek treatment for congestion.

For Sinus Congestion

Nasal congestion is usually a sign of a common cold or flu. Yet when symptoms become prolonged, they can lead to sinus infection and other complications that need treatment from a doctor to improve. If your symptoms are accompanied by a high fever, you should seek treatment right away as fever is a clear sign of infection and you may need antibiotics. 

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Infected Wounds: When to See a Doctor

Friday, May 10th, 2019

Most cuts and scrapes do not require the attention of a doctor. You can treat most minor injuries at home with bandages and antibiotic ointment. However, there are some cases in which a doctor needs to be seen for injuries. When wounds become infected, you may need a doctor’s care to treat the infection appropriately and prevent further damage. Here’s when to see a doctor for an infected wound.

Redness and Swelling

Some wound infections are minor and can be treated at home with antibiotic ointment and keeping the area clean. Yet when the area becomes extremely red and swollen it becomes necessary to see a doctor. Your wound may have even partially healed, but be red and swollen underneath the healed cut or scrape. In these cases, it may be necessary to reopen the wound and remove the infection.

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Tips for Having a Healthy and Safe Winter Season

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

The winter season is here, and with it comes cold weather and school break. Whether you are traveling somewhere during this time of year or staying home, you should take some basic precautions to stay safe this season.

Flu Season

Since flu season is here and in full force, you can take some extra steps to help prevent yourself from getting sick. Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing, even if you did so in your elbow. You should carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes with you for quick ways to clean your hands and surfaces. Also, try refraining from touching your face if you come in contact with unclean surfaces.

In addition to good hygiene, maintaining a healthy diet and frequent exercise will help boost your immune system. You should make it a priority to get the right amount of sleep to give your body time to rest and recover. If you do catch the flu this season, be sure to contact a medical professional right away to get proper treatment.

Outdoor Safety

If you don’t live in an area where it snows, you might be traveling elsewhere to experience the winter activities. It is important to wear proper layers when going outside in cold temperatures. If you plan on participating in activities like sledding or skiing, make sure to wear gloves and boots. While you are having fun and getting your heart rate up, don’t forget to stay hydrated and eat. It’s important to get the right nutrients when partaking in physical activities such as snowboarding or trekking through the snow. (more…)

Ways to Avoid Catching the Flu this Season

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

As you might have heard, flu season is among us. You might not have caught the flu for the last few years, but even the best of us aren’t always immune. Catching the flu can lead to missing days or weeks of work, and possibly spreading it to your coworkers or family. For those with serious health conditions, getting the flu can mean more serious consequences. We can all do our part to stay healthy and help prevent the spread of any illnesses.

Get Vaccinated

Experts say that getting the flu shot is the single best way to prevent yourself from getting the flu. Getting the shot early in the fall is best. The flu shot is meant to prevent you from contracting what experts believe to be most widespread that season. There are different types of shots you can get, and the health clinic you receive it from will have the information to help you differentiate between them.

Germ Prevention

Avoiding people who have the flu is not an easy task, so it's best to come prepared when going out in public spaces. Often, a sick person will cough or sneeze in the open, which ejects their germs onto nearby spaces. These germs can be on anything you encounter and make their way onto you when you touch your face. There are plenty of easy ways to help prevent these germs from getting into your system.

·         Make it a habit to frequently wash your hands after you touch other people or surfaces.

·         Try to avoid touching your face if you have not washed your hands after touching someone else or a public surface.

·         Carry a hand sanitizer for easy disinfection when washing your hands isn’t an option.

·         Keep disinfectant wipes on hand to wipe down surfaces that might be dirty. (more…)

Child Fever Dos and Don’ts

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Having a sick child is stressful, especially when they have a fever. As a parent, you immediately start feeling anxiety when your child has a fever. Fevers generally mean your child is fighting off some form of illness, but how worried should you be? You don’t want to overreact, but you also don’t want to underreact and miss something important. Below are the dos and don’ts of childhood fevers to help you figure out the best course of action.

Do

  • Do bring a baby who is under 3 months old with a rectal temperature of 100.4 °F to a doctor immediately. This type of temperature can be an indicator of a serious infection in a baby that age.

  • Do call your doctor right away if the child is between 3-6 months with a temperature above 101°F

  • Do call the doctor if a child above 6 months is acting strangely with a fever between 102°F (38.8°C) to 102.9°F (39.4°C)

  • Do call the doctor if a child is above 6 months and has a fever of 103°F

  • Do give your child plenty of fluid and popsicles to help their body cool down

  • Do make sure your child is well rested

  • Do give your child blankets if they have the chills

  • Do give your child acetaminophen if they are older than 3 months, are fussy, and have a temperature above 100.2 °F

  • Do watch for any unusual symptoms like seizures, swelling, wheezing, or unresponsiveness

Don’t

  • Don’t give your child aspirin to bring down the fever, since this is very dangerous for children

  • Don’t bundle them up in very warm clothing

  • Don’t give a baby under two months any medication unless you speak with the doctor

  • Don’t force your child to eat if they do not want to

  • Don’t be concerned about brain damage from a high fever; this would not occur until the child had a fever above 107°

In most children, a fever is not a major cause for concern, and they will often break on their own. However, it is never a bad idea to bring your child in to be checked out by a doctor if they need antibiotics to better fight off their illness.

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