Vacation? Protect Yourself From Zika

Zika virus is a growing concern for people traveling this summer, as it has begun spreading rapidly through new regions in Central America and the United States.

Zika virus typically has very mild symptoms, but it can put people at risk of complications such as infant microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. There is currently no cure or vaccine for the Zika virus.

AFC Urgent Care wants you and your family to be protected while on vacation, so if you’re planning to travel to an area that has been affected by Zika, like Africa, Southeast Asia, Central and South America, or the Pacific Islands, read on for our tips to keep yourself safe.

Avoid going out during peak mosquito activity. Early morning and early evening are the most active times for mosquitoes, so you should try to avoid spending a lot of time outside during those times of day. Careful planning can allow you to have breakfast and dinner inside and still enjoy the sights and experiences of your destination.

Use insect repellents. Bug sprays registered with the Environmental Protection Agency are the most likely to be effective at keeping mosquitoes away. You can also treat your clothing with permethrin, an insecticide and repellent that acts like natural extracts from the chrysanthemum flower. This chemical is widely-used by public health mosquito control programs, and it can give the wearer a bubble of protection.

Studies have shown that permethrin is one of few pesticides that could be safe for young children.

Use barriers like netting and clothing. You can add a physical barrier between you and mosquitoes by wearing loose-fitting clothing that covers most of your skin. Thin, loose fabric can keep you cool in warm climates, while allowing you to protect yourself from bites. You can also add mosquito netting to baby strollers, hats and hotel rooms that don’t have window screens or air conditioning. These measures can keep you protected around the clock!

Use condoms or abstinence. To prevent sexual transmission of the Zika virus, doctors recommend the same measures you can take against other sexually transmitted diseases. Employing physical barriers like condoms or abstaining from sexual activity are two very effective ways to protect yourself from Zika!

The Zika virus has begun to spread quickly through countries like Brazil, and many cases have been confirmed in the United States. While the disease can be unnoticeable when you contract it, there are complications that can make the virus a much bigger health problem.

If you need more information, visit your local AFC Urgent Care for advice on vaccines and other ways you can keep your family healthy while on vacation!
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Memphis Doctors Warn of Dangerous Insect Diseases As Memorial Weekend Approaches

(May 24, 2016)   As families head out for Memorial Day weekend, local docs warn that insect-borne diseases are increasing here and globally, taking a bite out of summer fun and posing serious health threats.

•Infected mosquitos carrying the Zika virus are expected to enter the U.S. starting in June or July, meaning Americans could get infected right here at home – according to the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. *
• One type of infected mosquito likely to carry Zika will blanket the south and reach as far north as New York City and as far west as San Francisco.  Another species could spread widely along the East Coast and New England. *
• A newly released study in the journal Climatic Change shows another half a billion people could be at risk from diseases carried by insects including the Zika virus and West Nile virus.
• The World Health Organization reports that Zika, with most outbreaks in South America and Southeast Asia, now has a moderate likelihood of an outbreak in France, Italy and Greece —popular American summer tourist destinations.

The problem? Global warming has created warmer, wet breeding grounds for insects that are “sip feeders” — taking small blood meals from lots of people.

“With Zika spreading to the U.S., we are urging our patients to take precautions to protect themselves from bug bites,” says Jeremy Allen, M.D., of American Family Care. “We are here seven days a week to treat all summer injuries and illnesses from sunburn to bug bites. And if we suspect patients have contracted an insect-carried disease we will make sure they get the proper medical treatment.”

We invite you to interview our docs at the local AFC urgent care to explain the best way to protect your family from bug-bite diseases. We also invite you to talk to families in our clinics about their fears of these illnesses as they prepare for summer travel.

Zika Virus Fast Facts:
• You get the Zika virus from a bite from an infected Aedes mosquito.
• The disease is mostly a threat for women who are pregnant or want to conceive because it can cause serious birth defects.
• Zika is very hard to detect and diagnose. The symptoms are often very mild so people don’t realize they have the virus. In fact, one in five people who contract Zika have few or no symptoms.
• Symptoms include fever, rash, joint and muscle pain and conjunctivitis (pink eye).

West Nile Virus Fast Facts:
• Carried by mosquitos and transmitted when they bite.
• Symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting and in older adults — stiff neck, confusion, seizures, muscle weakness and loss of consciousness.

HOW TO PROTECT FROM ZIKA AND WEST NILE VIRUS:
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
• Stay in places with air conditioning and screens to keep mosquitos outside.
• Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and can’t protect yourself.
• Use EPA registered insect repellents with one of these ingredients: DEET, picaridin, or oil of eucalyptus.

Lyme Disease:
•Spread by tiny deer ticks that attach to the skin.
•First and most obvious symptom is a rash that looks like a red spot surrounded by a light ring that looks like a target. Some children have fever, fatigue, headaches, sore muscles and swollen glands.
•Lyme disease can cause headaches and body aches or numbness, stiff joints (similar to arthritis), fatigue, meningitis (inflammation of the nervous system), Bell’s palsy (weakness/paralysis in facial muscles), heart problems like inflammation of the heart muscle, inflammation of the eye and difficulties with speech, memory or concentration.

HOW TO PREVENT LYME DISEASE:
• Cover up. When in wooded or grassy areas, wear shoes, long pants tucked into your socks, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat and gloves. Try to stick to trails and avoid walking through low bushes and long grass. Keep your dog on a leash.
• Use insect repellents. Apply insect repellent with a 20 percent or higher concentration of DEET to your skin. Parents should apply repellent to their children, avoiding their hands, eyes and mouth. Apply products with permethrin to clothing or buy pretreated clothing.
• Do your best to tick-proof your yard. Clear brush and leaves where ticks live. Keep woodpiles in sunny areas.
• Check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks. Be especially vigilant after spending time in wooded or grassy areas. Deer ticks are often no bigger than the head of a pin, so you may not discover them unless you search carefully.
• It’s helpful to shower as soon as you come indoors. Ticks often remain on your skin for hours before attaching themselves. Showering and using a washcloth might remove unattached ticks.
• Don’t assume you’re immune. You can get Lyme disease more than once.
• Remove a tick as soon as possible.  Using tweezers, gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Don’t squeeze or crush the tick, but pull carefully and steadily. Once you’ve removed the entire tick, dispose of it and apply antiseptic to the bite area.

*Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

About American Family Care:
Starting with a single location in Hoover, Alabama in 1982, American Family Care has pioneered the concept of non-emergency room urgent care. With its 2013 acquisition of the Doctors Express franchise, AFC is the nation’s leading provider of urgent care and accessible primary care, with more than 160 clinics and 500 in-network physicians caring for more than 2 million patients a year. Ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., AFC’s stated mission is to provide the best healthcare possible, in a kind and caring environment, while respecting the rights of all patients, in an economical manner, at times and locations convenient to the patient. For more information, visit www.americanfamilycare.com.

Certified Radiologic Technologist Job Opening

Memphis Area Candidates: Come join the AFC Urgent Care Team!

Certified Radiologic Technologist Job Description:

-Full time

-The shift is 8am-8pm Thursday, Saturday, & Sunday

-Applicant must be registered in radiology through the ARRT

-Tennessee state license is preferred

-Experience is preferred, but not required

-Job responsibilities include but are not limited to: X-ray, Front Desk, Triage, EKG, Labs, Breath Alcohol Testing, and DOT Drug screens

-Must have good attitude, get along well with others, have a good bedside manner to deal with sick patients, and willing to take directions

-Knowledge of EMR DocuTAP, MS Word and Excel preferred

Please send resume and references and a digital copy of your current ARRT card and Tennessee State License to memphisteam@afcurgentcare.com

 

 

 

Cabbage Soup ≠ Bikini Body

Summer is fast approaching, which means it will be time to get out the bathing suits and short shorts!

And who doesn’t begin to feel a little insecure after a long winter of bundling up?

Before you start getting ready to bare your “bikini body” on the beach, AFC Urgent Care wants to know:

How do you feel about crash diets? 

For those who have never tried one, a crash diet is when you dramatically cut your calorie intake and restrict the variety of foods you eat for a short period of time, with the goal of losing weight quickly.

By cutting your calorie and nutrient intake abruptly and then allowing your intake to go back to normal, the hope is that instead of a long-term change in your eating habits, you can achieve weight loss with just a few weeks of starvation.

Unfortunately, that’s rarely how it turns out.

During a crash diet, most people will experience the typical symptoms of starvation, including lightheadedness, fatigue, constipation, loss of coordination, irritability and extreme hunger. This is the “crash” part of the diet; your body is trying to conserve as much energy as it can, so its response is to prevent the unnecessary burning of calories. Your body’s starvation response begins within a couple of days of starting your crash diet, after your body burns through its stores of quick energy in the form of glycogen. That’s when your body will begin burning fat and muscle for energy to make up for the deficit. Your metabolism slows to a crawl, and it becomes harder to lose weight as your body clings to every calorie and nutrient you consume.

And here’s the kicker: any weight you lose over the course of your crash diet is highly likely to come back.

According to Darcy Johanssen, Ph.D., R.D., an assistant professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, any weight you drop during a crash diet is likely to be a mix of water weight, fat and muscle, and water and fat will return the fastest. This could have long-term implications for your health, since muscle is harder to replace.

Additionally, there is evidence that your metabolism remains slower for a period of time after your crash diet ends, which could cause you to regain even more weight. Some studies have also shown that repeated crash diets can affect your insulin sensitivity, leading to a greater risk of metabolic disorders or diabetes.

If the word “crash” in the name wasn’t enough to convince you, hopefully these facts are. Crash diets might seem like a good idea over the short term, but they are bad for your long-term health and weight management.

Instead, give our doctors here at AFC Urgent Care in Memphis a visit to discuss building a sustainable plan to manage your weight and keep your body ready for “bikini season” all year long!

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Binge Drinking: Not Just College Students Doing It

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and those celebrations bring green beer and pub crawls … and unfortunately, binge drinking.

This St. Patrick’s Day, our team of physicians at AFC Urgent Care in Memphis want to raise your awareness of binge drinking and the harmful effects that it may have on your health.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that brings the blood alcohol content (BAC) to .08, which occurs after about four drinks for women and five drinks for men, consumed within a period of two hours.

Short-Term Effects

The most dangerous short-term effect of binge drinking is alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning is most likely to occur when a person is drinking large amounts of alcohol over a short period of time. Cases of alcohol poisoning can range in severity. In some cases, people may only experience problems with balance and slurred speech, but alcohol poisoning can become severe enough to lead to coma, seizure or even death. Signs of alcohol poisoning include confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow breathing, irregular breathing, difficulty remaining conscious, clammy skin and low body temperature.

Long-Term Effects

Binge drinking is not only harmful for your body in the short term, but it also has many long-term effects on your health.

A person who binge drinks on a regular basis increases risk for long term health problems that affect all parts of the body. Regular binge drinking can cause the following health issues:

  • Alcohol dependence
  • Neurological damage: Problems with memory, concentration, reasoning and increased risk of stroke.
  • Digestive system damage: Increased risk of peptic ulcers, gastritis and stomach cancer.
  • Heart problems: Increased risk of high blood pressure and heartbeat rhythm irregularities.
  • Liver disease: Increased risk for alcoholic hepatitis and the development of a fatty liver, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Psychological problems: Increased risk of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression and insomnia.
  • Sexual health problems: Increased risk of erectile dysfunction, lower testosterone levels and sperm growth issues for men. Increased risk of lower fertility in women.

Binge drinking has serious effects on your health, in both the short and long term. To prevent binge drinking, understand the serving size of a standard drink, consume alcoholic beverages slowly and drink water in between alcoholic beverages.

Look Out For These Heart Health Warning Signs

It’s the middle of February, which means our New Year’s resolutions are either new habits or fond memories. We at AFC/Doctors Express are hoping that one of your resolutions was to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and to help you stay on track, we have compiled a list of things to look out for when you’re evaluating your health.

As February is American Heart Month, we’ll go over what couldheart indicate that you might have heart trouble! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the United States.

You get exhausted easily. If you notice that you become more tired than usual doing everyday things, you might want to get to your doctor’s office. We’re not talking the feeling you get after a long day of work. If you feel like you have the flu every day, and you haven’t changed your daily activities, that should be something you bring up with your doctor. This fatigue could be caused by circulation issues or a faulty heart valve, which could be lowering your blood pressure. If this is paired with shortness of breath or an inability to walk up a couple flights of stairs without becoming tired, this should be a serious cause for concern.

Your feet are swelling. If you notice that your feet are swelling, or if you feel pain in your legs when you walk, your heart could be having trouble moving the blood in your peripheral arteries, which are the arteries that are furthest from your heart. This could cause buildups of fatty deposits in your arteries and an increase in fluid in your feet, leading to swelling and pain. You should see your doctor or urgent care physician as soon as possible if you think you might have this condition, because while these are very treatable, they must be addressed to prevent them from getting worse.

You can hear your heartbeat. If you lie down to sleep and can hear your heart in your ears, that might spell trouble, because it could mean your heart valves are not closing and opening the way they should be. Faulty valves are symptoms of coronary artery disease and can lead to low blood pressure and exacerbate other symptoms of heart trouble.
For American Heart Month, it’s a good idea to take stock of your heart health. Visiting your local AFC/Doctors Express can give you detailed information on the state of your heart, without even needing an appointment. Your heart is the organ that keeps you going, so do your part to keep it healthy this February!

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Lost Time from Injury is a Loss in Productivity to Most Companies, Big or Small

All types of businesses and all sizes from small businesses to large corporations benefit from using urgent care centers in terms of the reduced lost-time-on-the-job we provide over a primary care doctor’s office and in the cost of services, which are much cheaper than an ER.

If your employees aren’t well, business suffers. If business suffers, your bottom line suffers. As a business leader you’ve got enough to worry about. You also need an Occupational Health and Workers Compensation clinic that can deliver prompt, accurate communication, a key building block to effective occupational health services.

At AFC/Doctors Express, we’ve designed programs that promote streamlined record keeping, enable a quick return to work, and keep you fully aware of your employee’s health status.

Here are just a few examples of the types of illness and injury we treat that may be related to occupational health or worker’s comp:

  • Colds, Coughs and Flu
  • Cuts and Bruises
  • Earaches and Infections
  • Broken Bones & Fractures
  • Burns, Rashes and Bites
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Nausea and Headaches
  • Eye Injuries
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Back Injury and Pain

And here are just a few examples of occupational health services we provide to meet federal regulations you and/or your employees may be subject to and some of the preventive care services you may offer to employees as part of their compensation or for pre-employment qualifications your company may require of new hires:

  • DOT medical services for CDL certification and re-certification
  • Flu shots and flu tests
  • INS physicals and shots
  • Pre-employment physicals and drug screens
  • Executive health and wellness physicals
  • Pre-operative physicals

AFC/Doctors Express offers employers an occupational medicine program that is an integrated, comprehensive source for health services.

Please contact us for more information at 901-254-8040.DE to AFC soon small size