Advanced Urgent Care Marathon physician, Dr. John O'Connor, won "Best Medical Professional" in Marathon this week!
Dr. O'Connor has been a staple of the Middle Keys community for years. We are so grateful for his leadership, experience, compassion, and care at our Marathon location. Also, hats off to the amazing staff that supports him as well!
YOU ROCK, DOC!
WHAT IS MONKEYPOX?
Monkeypox is a virus that was first recorded in 1970. Generally a rare disease, in May of 2022, an outbreak occurred in the United Kingdom that has now spread across the US.
HOW DOES MONKEYPOX SPREAD?
Monkeypox is predominantly spread through close, intimate, skin-to-skin contact. This may come in the form of touching an infected individual's scabs or rashes, through sex, through prolonged face-to-face contact (respiratory exposure), and even through fabrics or surfaces. Recent studies indicate that Monkeypox may also spread to pets.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The most notable symptom of Monkeypox is a skin rash that generally looks like small blisters or pimples. These are generally quite painful and develop into scabs before healing. Other symptoms include fever, chills, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes, aches, and respiratory ailments (congestion, sore throat, runny nose, etc.). Some patients may only experience the rash and no other symptoms.
HOW LONG DO SYMPTOMS LAST?
Commonly, Monkeypox symptoms last 2-4 weeks. The disease can be spread from the onset of symptoms all the way through the scab phase. Not until a new layer of skin has formed and all expressions of the illness have subsided can a patient be deemed non-contagious.
HOW CAN I PREVENT MONKEYPOX?
Avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone who is positive for the virus, or appears to have a rash like Monkeypox. Avoid touching objects and clothes that the infected individual has used. Wash your hands often. Avoid large gatherings with close body contact such as dance halls, concerts, raves, spas, etc. Reduce your sexual partners, and practice safe sex. Get vaccinated if possible.
DOES ADVANCED URGENT CARE TREAT MONKEYPOX?
While there is no cure or specific treatment for Monkeypox, at Advanced Urgent Care, we will assess patients individually to determine their best course of care. This may include antiviral drugs and medications to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with the disease. On the positive side, Monkeypox generally clears up on its own with time, and rarely causes severe illness or death.
Information sourced from the CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html
WHY YOU REALLY, REALLY, MIGHT NOT WANT ANTIBIOTICS FOR THAT COLD, COUGH or FLU
The Key West cold and flu season is soon upon us. Kids will be in school busily learning, but also passing the viruses around. Tourists leaving cold weather behind bring with them northern viruses - yuck. Everyone, it seems, is coughing and wheezing. (Wash your hands – A LOT!)
At Advanced Urgent Care, we see a lot of folks with these symptoms. Often, they may feel they need antibiotics to get better. Rarely, do they NEED antibiotics to get better.
The average viral upper respiratory illness (cold) lasts from 7 to 10 days. Studies have shown that patients with viral bronchitis (the common “chest cold”) often have a cough for 2 weeks or more.
The unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics has led to the emergence of drug resistant bacteria, which can cause life threatening infections and in some cases death. (“Superbugs”)
Unnecessary antibiotics can cause diarrhea (sometimes severe enough to lead to hospitalization). Unnecessary antibiotics cost all of us money. The unnecessary use of antibiotics for adult upper respiratory infections (colds) in the U.S. is estimated to cost 1.1 billion dollars per year.
Lets look at an example of why people think they need antibiotics for viruses:
Patient #1 takes acetaminophen and over the counter nasal spray and is over his cold in 10 days.
Patient #2 gets the same cold and after a few days is started on antibiotics. He also is better in 10 days. Of course, he is now convinced that the antibiotics were responsible for his cure.
Without antibiotics, 10 days.
With antibiotics, 10 days.
MYTH - Green snot or sputum means you have a bacterial infection (not true, the cold has no bearing on the cause and is common with viral illnesses).
MYTH – A cough lasting more than a week needs to be treated with antibiotics (not true – see above regarding duration of cough with a “chest cold”).
MYTH – A fever with a cold means antibiotics are needed (not true, viruses frequently cause fevers – think of influenza).
MYTH – If I take antibiotics, my virus won’t lead to a more serious infection (not true, if you do develop a bacterial complication of a virus – this is RARE - it is more likely to be a serious and resistant organism if you have been on antibiotics).
In the past, many physicians routinely prescribed antibiotics for any illness with a fever. We now know that this is not good medical practice.
At Advanced Urgent Care, we will carefully evaluate you and recommend or prescribe treatments that will make you feel better while your body responds to a virus. Occasionally, AUC may determine that you will benefit from antibiotic treatment. When this is the case, we try to use the most appropriate drug with the least side effects.
In general, however, antibiotics are reserved for specific bacterial infections (e.g. strep throats, certain pneumonias, staph skin infections, urinary tract infections, etc.).