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Why Wearing Face Masks Can Save Lives

Even before COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, patients with contagious respiratory diseases are already advised to wear a face mask to avoid transmitting the disease to other people.

Patients who are immunocompromised, or those with a weak immune system, also have to wear a face mask to avoid catching a respiratory disease from other people.

But with the new coronavirus, why do health authorities ask everyone to wear face masks regardless of their health status?

And how can wearing face masks save lives?

Types of Masks

Surgical masks

These masks are made of non-woven fabric. They are loose-fitting, disposable, and designed to cover the mouth and nose of the wearer.

Cloth masks

You can buy cloth masks or even sew one yourself. Ideally, cloth masks shouldn’t be made of stretchy knits. Cotton fabrics or linen can make good cloth masks. The fewer holes you see when you hold the fabric up to the light, the better filtration it has against droplets.

N95 respirators

These masks are tight-fitting and can protect the wearer from droplets that are suspended in the air. Because of short supply, these are only recommended for health care workers and first responders. 

Wearing masks in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 has infected approximately 33 million people to date and killed a million people worldwide since the disease was identified last December 31, 2019. Based on these numbers, 3% of infected patients die.

The disease is transmitted from person to person through droplets. These droplets are produced when a person talks, coughs, or sneezes. The transmission usually occurs among people who are in close contact with each other, so you should stay at least 1 meter away from other people. If you are standing within 1 meter of a person, you might inhale droplets that may contain the virus.

But, physical distancing is not enough. And the reality is, it’s hard to maintain all the time. That’s why the general public is also encouraged to wear face masks to protect themselves and other people.

How face masks can reduce the spread of infection

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends the wearing of face masks in the following situations:

  • in public places
  • if you are around people who do not live in your house
  • when you can’t maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others
wear-mask-urgentcarePB-804x1024 Why Wearing Face Masks Can Save Lives
Source: https://www.nebraskamed.com/sites/default/files/images/covid19/wearamask_infographic.jpg

Wearing face masks can effectively limit the spread of COVID-19 if worn correctly. The mask should be snug and fully cover the person’s mouth and nose. If it is a surgical mask, it should be disposed of properly after use. If it is a fabric mask, it should be washed with soap, detergent, and hot water at least once a day.

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Source: https://cdn.the-scientist.com/assets/articleNo/67646/iImg/38597/uploads/maskexplainer_fullwidth2_final.jpg

Even healthy people can be carriers, which means that they are infected but have no signs and symptoms. And even without symptoms, carriers can transmit the virus to other people. That’s why wearing face masks must be practiced by everyone, even if you are healthy and fit.

In essence, the purpose of all these measures is to protect yourself and other people, especially those who have other diseases, pregnant, and elderly, as they are the ones who are most vulnerable.

Masks with exhalation valve are no-nos

Although they are more comfortable, masks with exhalation valves only protect the wearer, but can still spread the infection to others through the valve.

Where to find COVID-19 testing near me

If you have had any of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, such as sore throat, cough, fever, chest pain, and shortness of breath during the past two weeks, we strongly recommend that you get yourself tested for COVID-19.

We offer both IgG antibody tests for immunity and nasopharyngeal swab tests in all of our locations. Please schedule an appointment with us through our telemedicine urgent care services or call us at 561-429-6109.

urgent-care-palm-beach-telemedicine-1024x1024 Why Wearing Face Masks Can Save Lives

Keep your health in check in this challenging time

For your health concerns in the time of COVID-19, you may consult our physicians at Urgent Care of the Palm Beach Gardens through our telemedicine services. Our locations remain open seven days a week to deliver health services to our patients and the community:

Likewise, if you have any questions about COVID-19, feel free to contact our clinic. We are more than willing to answer any questions you might have about the disease.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Elevated blood pressure (hypertension) is a common chronic condition, often treated in an urgent care setting. Identifying high blood pressure is important to avoid a hypertensive emergency, which can result in organ damage. 

Hypertension vs. hypertensive emergency - what is the difference?

Hypertension is when you have blood pressure of over 140/90 that is sustained for some time. It is common, affecting approximately 40% of emergency room patients in the United States every year. If not managed appropriately, hypertension can turn into a hypertensive emergency. 

A hypertensive emergency is less common than hypertension. A hypertensive crisis can result in organ failure and death. Usually, it is when you have blood pressure of over 180/120, plus evidence of end-stage organ damage. Evaluation and treatment are critical to prevent progression of the condition.  

The most common organs affected in a hypertensive emergency include the brain, heart, and kidneys. Common conditions resulting from a hypertensive crisis include stroke, heart failure, pulmonary edema, and acute kidney injury.

A hypertensive emergency must be treated in an urgent care or emergency room setting. It is best not to wait if you are concerned or have symptoms of a hypertensive crisis. Seek medical care immediately. 

What to expect for treatment of a hypertensive emergency

It is essential to monitor your blood pressure at home if you have hypertension. If your blood pressure increases significantly over your baseline, you have a blood pressure over 180/120, or have any concern organs may be affected, you must have your blood pressure verified by a health professional. 

Frequent blood pressure checks will likely be required. The team will look for a correlation between symptoms and blood pressure. 

Physicians will perform a physical examination. The physician will likely perform a neurological exam, assess heart and lung sounds, perform a head to toe physical, and discuss symptom history. The examination will give a picture of overall functioning within the body.

Labs and images are often ordered if a hypertensive emergency is suspected. Specific tests may be requested to target the organs that may be affected. These may include:

  • Electrocardiogram to evaluate heart function
  • Chest radiography if pulmonary edema is suspected
  • Blood work to test kidney functioning and to rule out infection
  • Urinalysis to test kidney functioning
  • Head CT to rule out brain swelling
  • Chest CT to rule out pulmonary edema or heart failure
  • Renal ultrasound to look for kidney damage

Physicians will administer medications to correct a hypertensive emergency. The goal is to restore blood pressure in a controlled way, so it does not drop too quickly. Proper correction of blood pressure can prevent or reverse end-organ damage, so treatment as soon as possible is best. 

How we can help at the Urgent Care of The Palm Beaches

Urgent Care of The Palm Beaches offers comprehensive care plans for people diagnosed with hypertension. Whether it is a one-time occurrence related to pain or illness, or a chronic condition needing maintenance care management, our physicians can provide you with the care you need regularly. 

virtual-visit-urgent-care-palm-beach-county-1024x1024 Hypertensive Emergency? Here is what you need to know

We are also offering telemedicine urgent care so you may meet with a physician from the comfort of your home. Telemedicine is a convenient and option for many managing chronic illnesses such as hypertension. 

Urgent care of The Palm Beaches has three locations open seven days a week:

Our physicians can perform a comprehensive exam, order necessary tests, treat hypertensive conditions appropriate for urgent care settings, and refer to a higher level of care if deemed necessary. 

Both telemedicine and walk-in visits are being offered. If looking for “COVID-19 testing in Palm Beach County”, this may also be completed at any one of our three locations. 

If you have any questions about hypertension, hypertensive emergency, COVID-19, or any other medical condition, please contact our clinic. We are happy to answer questions and assist with the treatment of hypertension as well as many other health concerns.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FastStats: Emergency Department Visits. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/emergency-department.htm

Juhasz, J. (2020). Managing hypertensive emergencies in the urgent care setting. Retrieved from https://www.jucm.com/managing-hypertensive-emergencies-in-the-urgent-care-setting/

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

This test is a nasal swab test that is collected and test is run on site with the results returning in 15 minutes. This is not a PCR test.

Visit out COVID-19 Testing page to find out more.

It is a question on the mind of many as fall is on the horizon. How do I know if I have the flu or if it is COVID-19? How can I best protect myself? Can an urgent care center in Palm Springs help?

COVID versus Influenza

Both COVID-19 and Influenza are respiratory viruses. Both illnesses are highly contagious, but different viruses cause them. 

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is caused by a severe strain of the coronavirus family (SARS-CoV-2). Influenza is caused by infection with influenza viruses. 

Symptoms between the two illnesses are similar, so it may be difficult to tell the difference if you are ill. Though testing is the determining factor, there are some differences between the two viruses. 

Similarities Between COVID-19 and Influenza

Both influenza and COVID-19 can cause one or more of the following symptoms. It is essential to keep in mind symptoms can range. You may have many or even none at all: 

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

With both illnesses, you can spread the virus a day before you have any symptoms. 

What are the differences between COVID-19 and influenza?

If you have influenza, you likely will have many of the above symptoms listed. Illness can range from mild to severe. 

COVID-19 symptoms also range, but it will usually take longer before you show signs of illness. With influenza, symptoms are typically felt within one to four days of exposure. 

COVID-19 is common not to have symptoms for five days or more. It is important to know that some people will have symptoms as early as two days, and some not for up to 14 days after being infected. 

Another common determining factor is a loss of taste and sense of smell. Sensory loss is not a common symptom of influenza but is seen in patients with COVID-19. 

Additionally, COVID-19 is contagious for an extended period. The amount of time can expose others who have COVID-19 is still under investigation, but likely about ten days from when signs and symptoms appeared. 

How can I protect myself against COVID-19?

It is best to implement best practice advice provided by the CDC and medical professionals to protect yourself against both viruses. Practices include:

  • Frequent hand washing for 20 seconds
  • Regular use of hand sanitizer
  • Social distancing of 6 feet 
  • Masks when in public
  • Properly cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces
  • Get the seasonal influenza vaccine as soon as possible
urgent-care-palm-beach-telemedicine-1024x1024 Urgent Care Can Help: COVID-19 or the Flu?

How Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches Can Help You

Our urgent care offers in-person and virtual urgent care in South Florida. Locations for service include:

The influenza vaccine, influenza testing, and COVID-19 testing are available at all locations. I Please reach out today with any questions or virtual care needs or for COVID-19 testing in Palm Beach.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

© Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches 2022.

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