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CareXpress Urgent Care: How does the flu work?

So we all know the flu is not a fun experience. But, while your laying there covered in 3 blankets and wiping your nose every 3 seconds have you ever wondered how the flu works? How does a collection of tiny single, celled organisms keep a human down for days at a time? Well, Carexpress urgent care is here to spread some knowledge about this little virus.

First of all, it’s important to note that the flu and a Cold are not the same thing. The Flu is caused by the Influenza Virus, that’s why we call it the flu. The Common Cold is actually caused by a different virus all together. The 2 viruses have similar symptoms, but a cold tends to be milder and less likely to morph into a more serious threat.

The Flu is a virus, which means it reproduces by infecting other cells. Once the flu is in your system, it will set to work by infecting a nearby cell. It binds to the surface of the cell and releases it’s RNA (it’s genetic information) into the cell’s nucleus. Once inside, the virus replicates and takes over the cell. Kind of like a cellular zombie! The virus keeps reproducing until the cell it inhabits finally bursts open and releases all the new viruses into your body, where they then move on to infect more cells. Think of that, every time you get the flu, it’s like the walking dead is happening in your body!

This all starts in your respiratory system, symptoms don’t usually start here although the replication will cause swelling of respiratory tissue. Once the virus makes it’s way into your bloodstream though, that’s when symptoms start to appear. This is also the point your immune system really kick in to fight off the infection.

If you find yourself being invaded by the flu virus, or want to prevent an infection, come into your nearest CareXpress Urgent Care today!

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CareXpress Urgent Care: Staying healthy this holiday season

CareXpress Urgent Care: How to stay healthy for the Holidays

Influenza season is here and it’s only going to get worse from here on out until things warm back up. Patients that did not get their flu shots early are now at a greater risk of developing the flu this season. While CareXpress Urgent Care is always on hand to help treat the flu, here are some ways to protect yourself for the holidays.

  • Dress warmly:  It’s simple sure, but it works so well it needs to be said! Layer up to avoid the cold’s icy sting and keep yourself from becoming more susceptible to the flu and other winter viruses.
  • Keep your hand clean: Sneezing, Coughing, and rubbing runny noses are happening all around you. And all these activities spread germs! If you use the same hand-drying towel, consider washing it thoroughly and often to keep it from spreading germs. The best thing though, is to wash your hands as often as possible and keep them clean.
  • Eat the right foods: Foods high in Zinc and Vitamin C will help keep your Immune system in working order. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables. Meat, oysters, eggs, seafood, black-eyed peas and wheat germ are all excellent sources of Zinc.
  • Drink plenty of water: Water is key to staying healthy and keeping germs out of your body. Water flushes your kidneys and washes any toxins and viruses out of your body before they can do damage.
  • Get plenty of rest:  Getting the right amount of rest will help to keep you happy and relaxed, reducing the amount of stress on your body. Less stress equals more capable to fight infections!

Sometimes though, you just can’t help it. The Flu gets in your system and it’s time to get treated. You can do everything on this list and still catch the flu, it’s a tricky virus. If you do get sick, come into one of CareXpress Urgent Care’s many locations and get treatment. We’re always on hand to help you beat the flu and any other ailments you may contract this holiday season.

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CareXpress Urgent Care Shares Immune System Preparation For Back-To-School

Urgent Care Shares Immune System Boosting Tips

Your immune system is responsible for battling bacterial and viral infections. That being said, if it’s overly strained it can’t operate properly. For most students around this area, school will back in session very soon. During these times of high anxiety and moments of rushing around to get everything in order, keeping your immune system in check is even more vital. That’s precisely why our urgent care team has developed this list of back to school immune system boosting tips.

1.) Vaccinations: Getting your vaccinations to fight against the flu and other illnesses would be your first step in maintaining a healthy body.
2.) Exercise: Cardiovascular exercise is one of the best ways to flush out bacteria, increase white blood cell circulation, and reduce the stress-related hormones.
3.) Lemon: Due to its high vitamin C and antioxidant content lemon can help you get over illnesses quicker. Squeezing a little lemon juice in your water or tea can help your body find balance.
4.) Hygiene: Remember to wash your hands after every visit to the restroom, as well as before and after every meal. Using antibacterial soap will limit your exposure to any harmful pathogens.
5.) Sleep: Create a healthy sleep pattern for yourself. Try to to stick to the same bedtime and wake-up times as much as possible, because lack of sleep can open the flood gate for all kinds of infections and weaken the immune system.

Even the healthiest people can feel the strain of starting a new school semester, but if you follow these guidelines you’ll be one step closer to a stronger immune system. In addition to these 5 immune system boosting tips, our urgent care staff would recommend avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, sugary foods, and stressful situations. All of these factors can cause inflammation in the body and prevent you from healing if you do become ill.

If you find yourself feeling sick and none of the preventative measures provided have helped, don’t hesitate to visit CareXpress Urgent Care. Our hours and locations can be found by clicking here.

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CareXpress Urgent Care Discusses Dry Cough Versus Wet Cough

When You Should Visit An Urgent Care For Your Cough


Warmer weather tends to make people think they won’t get sick as often, but as you can imagine, CareXpress Urgent Care doctors see a lot of patients for many different illnesses and often the patients have a cough. A cough can happen to anyone at any time of the year, so don’t think you’re immune!

Did you know that when you cough it is a signal to your body that something is wrong? That’s why you often hear people say “listen to your body“. As you start hacking it be common to wonder if you should bother visiting an urgent care or just let it pass. Knowing when to visit an urgent care for your cough may seem difficult to determine, but the type and duration of the cough will be the key factors. A wet cough may mean something different than a dry cough. To shed some light on these two types of coughs, we’re going over them, today.

Dry Cough: This refers to the fact that no mucus is being produced. The dry cough often sounds like “barking” and it is most associated with sinus infections, viral illnesses, and influenza (or flu).

Wet Cough: This kind of cough is accompanied by phlegm. The wet cough is commonly associated with post-nasal drip, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

It is important to note that the common cold can go either way (wet or dry) and in most cases goes away on it’s own. You can help by always washing your hands, disinfecting your home, and coughing into your elbow to avoid spreading germs via your hands or through the air. The length of your cough will be the test to whether visiting an urgent care is necessary.

The recommendation is that if your cough does not go away within three weeks, it’s time to visit an urgent care doctor for medical treatment. A definite reason to visit an urgent care due to a cough is if you notice the cough is so strong that you feel like vomiting at the end of harsh hacking. This could mean that you have Whooping cough which needs to be treated. Coughs that last eight weeks or more are most likely not going anywhere without some help. These long-lasting coughs can be caused by other things, also, such as acid reflux or Asthma.

If you find yourself in need of medical treatment for ongoing coughs, CareXpress Urgent Care is here for you at several locations. Click here for our locations and hours of operation.

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Should I get the Flu Vaccine? (Hint: YES!)

Fall has arrived and soon we will see more people getting sick with the flu. You can help prevent flu-related illness – and missed school and work – by getting a flu vaccine for yourself and your entire family.


Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease that infects to the nose, throat and lungs. It can lead to serious complications, hospitalization and even death. Some of the complications include pneumonia and bronchitis.

Even healthy people can become sick with the flu and have serious complications. You might be one of the lucky ones that bounce back quickly from the flu, but those around you might not be so lucky. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get a flu vaccine. Since flu viruses are constantly changing, new vaccines are created every year to target the most likely version. That’s why everyone needs a flu vaccine every season.

Everyone 6 months and older should get the flu vaccine, but it is especially important for these at-risk groups:

  • Children between 6 months and 4 years old

  • People aged 50 years and older

  • People with chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders

  • People who are immunosuppressed (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus)

  • Women who are pregnant

  • Residents of nursing homes

  • People who are morbidly obese

  • Health-care personnel

A common misconception is that a flu vaccine can give you the flu. They cannot. Sometimes there are mild side effects from the vaccine, such as soreness and low fever. These side effects are NOT the flu and are usually mild and short-lived.

Visit your nearest CareXpress location for a flu shot so that you, your family and your co-workers are protected!

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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How to Relieve Sinus and Nasal Pain Caused by Barometric Pressure Change

In the Panhandle of Texas, we often see drastic changes in weather. This can also cause major changes in Barometric Pressure causing sinus and nasal pain for many! Try these 5 steps for relief!

1.) Keep a diary of sinus pain attacks, listing the dates and symptoms, so that you will have a record for your doctors. Write down the weather conditions on those days, including the barometric pressure. Ask your relatives if any type of sinus headaches runs in your family.

2.) Consult an allergist and an ear, nose and throat specialist to find out if other medical problems are making your sinuses reactive to barometric pressure, as recommended by MedlinePlus, a service of the National Institutes of Health. Once these problems are healed or stabilized, your sinus attacks may disappear through treatments such as antibiotics, nasal allergy sprays or surgery.

3.) Visit a neurologist if previous sinus tests show no signs of disease, or if you have been treated for a sinus ailment but you continue to get sinus pain when barometric pressure changes occur. According to a 2007 paper published in the journal “Headache” by Dr. Eric Eross of the Arizona Neurological Institute, you may be suffering from facial migraines, a form of migraine in which the pain and pressure are experienced in your sinuses and nasal passages. If you are diagnosed with facial migraines, you will receive recommendations for over-the-counter and prescription medications to take at the first signal that you are having a sinus pain attack.

4.) Experiment with various methods that may help you with sinus pain caused by barometric pressure changes while you are waiting for your migraine, allergy, painkiller or antibiotic medications to kick in. If you suffer from facial migraines, place a cold compress over your sinuses, lie down in a dark room, and go to sleep. If your sinus attacks stem from other causes, consider lying down and using either a warm or cold compress over your sinuses; going for a walk; sitting in a room with a humidifier; or inhaling steam by sitting in the bathroom with the shower running. If your sinuses swell up and close during sinus attacks, try placing a nasal strip across the bridge of your nose to hold your nasal passages open and use a decongestant nasal inhaler. No technique works for everyone, so keep trying strategies until you find one that works for you.

5.) Try preventive techniques in addition to your physician’s recommended medications. For example, the National Jewish Health Network’s online article and video “Nasal Wash Treatment” recommends mixing table salt and water together and sniffing it up both nostrils every day, thereby removing bacteria, allergens and excess mucous from your nose. Other preventive techniques include giving up smoking, drinking plenty of fluids to thin out your sinus mucous and keeping a humidifier in your bedroom.