If you’re looking for high quality medical care, consider your local urgent care center. Urgent care clinics can be found all throughout the United States, serving as many as 3,000 people on a weekly basis and staffing as many as 20,000 doctors (two numbers that are only likely to grow in the years that are ahead of us). Urgent care centers can provide treatment for a wide array of medical concerns.

For instance, urgent care locations can treat a wide variety of illnesses. Infections are easily handled in the typical urgent care location, and will typically be treated with a round of antibiotics. In fact, many of the eight million diagnosed urinary tract infections (UTIs) will be diagnosed in a walk in urgent care center. Many ear infections are also likely to be diagnosed in a walk in clinic, particularly among children, in whom ear infections are seen by and large the most frequently.

The common cold, of which more than one billion people will contract over the span of a year, can also lead to an urgent care visit. Though for most people, a common cold will last anywhere from two to 14 days (lasting, on average, about 10 days). If a common cold persists past this point, however, you might have developed something like a sinus infection and should seek medical care. Seeking this medical attention is likely to be easiest in your local urgent care location.

Getting the flu is also a very common possibility during cold and flu season, as up to one fifth of all American residents will get the flu during a particularly bad flu season – and even still 5% of all Americans will contract the flu during a more mild year. And the flu can all too easily become dangerous, and should be taken seriously as a result. If you think you have the flu, you should go into your local walk-in medical care clinic, as you might be able to take an antiviral medication. This medication will help to mitigate your chances of developing any of the serious secondary infections or complications that are often linked to the flu. It will also help to shorten your illness, something that can benefit your overall quality of life quite immensely.

But you can also take steps to prevent the flu. In many cases, urgent care treatment will include a flu shot, as just about every urgent care center out there will offer flu shots for the majority of people (children under the age of 7 might still need to go to a pediatrician to get their flu shot). And the flu shot typically has about a 50% chance of working. It’s about 60% of children and about 40% of all adults. So while the flu shot will not completely get rid of your chances of having the flu, it can seriously reduce them. And even if you DO still get the flu, having had the flu shot can make it much more mild and easy to recover from than it otherwise would have been. And, as the flu shot is very low risk, it is recommended to just about everyone who is over the age of 6 months. Ultimately, reducing your chances of getting the flu – and getting serious complications of the flu, for that matter – is something that just about everyone should look to do as much as they are able to do it.

The typical urgent care center is a great place to go for medical care if you’re looking to avoid your local emergency room. Unless you actually are dealing with an emergency medical condition, going to an emergency room can waste both time and money. And your local urgent care clinic can treat up to 97% of all cases that they see, ultimately having to transfer less than 5% of all cases they see from the urgent care in question to a local hospital. On the other hand, up to half of all people in the emergency room could have instead been treated in any given urgent care center.

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