Mumps Virus is Back: Here’s What You Need to Know

Mumps VirusNationwide, it’s the biggest spike in cases of the mumps virus in a decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the past year, more than 4,000 people across the country have fallen ill with the mumps virus, a highly contagious and vaccine-preventable illness caused by a virus.

To stay healthy, it’s advised to consider a booster shot.

About the Mumps Virus

As reported by the CDC, there are between a few hundred and several thousand cases reported in the US each year, although that number is expected to be higher than reported.

Causing flu-like symptoms, mumps is a viral illness that causes swelling of the salivary glands resulting in a swollen face and cheeks, jaw pain and headaches. The infection usually beings with a few days of a fever, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite. It is transmitted via saliva from coughing, sneezing or sharing objects such as utensils and cups. It is very contagious, especially in confined areas like college campuses.

Treatment for the Mumps Virus

If you suspect you have the mumps virus, visit your closest eMedical Urgent Care center to be tested. The physician will obtain a swab of your cheek to be tested for infection. Those affected should stay home and isolated for five days to limit the spread of the disease.

Outside of rest, currently there is no treatment for the viral illness. Over-the-counter medications can help to alleviate swelling, fever and pain.

Prevention for the Mumps Virus

Since the pre-vaccine era, there has been a more than 99% decrease in mumps cases in the United States. Although some speculation has circulated regarding the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine recently, it’s still the most effective protection against mumps infections.

MMR protects against three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella. The CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults also should be up to date on their MMR vaccination. Many schools and colleges require proof of MMR vaccination for enrollment, although there are still exemptions allowed in many states for medical and philosophical reasons.

Getting vaccinated is the best prevention from contracting mumps and significantly reduces the chances for severe complications if you do. If you and your loved ones have already been vaccinated, you may want to consider a booster shot.

MMR Booster Vaccine

The MMR vaccine is extremely effective against Mumps (in addition to Measles and Rubella). But, as we’ve addressed, even someone who has received the vaccine can still contract Mumps. Why?

The phenomenon, known as vaccine failure, is when the effectiveness of a vaccine potentially wears off over time. Additionally, it can happen when the body doesn’t maintain the same level of antibodies that it once did. To combat this, consider getting a Mumps booster shot.

If you have a unvaccinated child or need a booster shot, contact eMedical Urgent Care today to learn more about vaccinations like the MMR and how they can help keep you and your children healthy and safe. Call to learn more about our services in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, (908) 464-6700, and Middletown, New Jersey, (732) 957-0707.

Common Causes of Neck Pain

Neck PainMany of us will experience neck pain one time or another in our life. Whether it feels like a minor “kink” in the neck, chronic stiffness or severe pain from an injury, it’s always important to address the source.

As a very vulnerable part of the spine, the neck is susceptible to injury. Sources of neck pain are typically due to spine, muscle ligament and nerve injuries. Neck pain can be acute or chronic. Acute neck pain comes on suddenly due to an injury and the pain usually resolves within several days or weeks as the injury heals. Chronic neck pain, on the other hand, lasts longer than three months and may be the cause of structural changes in the spine from degenerative diseases.

Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of neck pain:

Common Causes of Neck Pain

Stinger from a Sports Injury

A stinger, also known as a burner, is an injury to the nerves that are located from your neck down into your arm most commonly occurring during contact sports, such as football.

Symptoms include a burning or stinging feeling, arm or shoulder numbness, weakness or a tingly sensation. They usually get better on their own within a few days, but additional therapy may be necessary to aid in recovery.

Strain from Whiplash

Neck strains often occur when the head and neck are forcibly moved during a car accident causing whiplash injury. Whiplash can also occur from sports injuries or amusement park rides. Pain may start immediately after the injury or it could even take up to a few days to develop. Additional symptoms of whiplash include stiffness, headaches and feeling dizzy.

Fracture from Impact

As the most serious neck injury, a fracture means that a vertebra has been broken. Fractures occur from a high-force impact, such as from a car crash, fall or serious sports impact and can cause serious pain, numbness or even paralysis.

But even without a specific injury, neck pain can occur.

Strain from Sleeping

Sudden minor neck movements usually cause minor ligament sprains or muscular strains where the muscles become tight and painful. But this can also be caused by sleeping with your neck in an awkward position at night.

Stress Spasms

When stressed, some people respond by tensing up the muscles of their neck, shoulders, and upper back. Chronic spasm in these muscles can cause neck pain and even lead to headaches.

Degenerative Disease

Breakdown of spinal structures from arthritis and other degenerative diseases can cause pressure on the spinal cords or nerves leading to chronic or occasional neck pain.

Bulging Spinal Disk Pressure

Pressure on spinal nerves can be caused by bulging spinal disks. As a natural result of aging or repeated small injuries to the neck, this kind of pressure causes tingling, pain, or numbness that spreads throughout the neck into the shoulder, arm, or hand on one side.

Treatment for Neck Pain Available at eMedical Urgent Care

As always, a medical examination by a qualified physician is necessary to identify the cause of your pain and determine the appropriate course of treatment. Be prepared to discuss symptoms and your medical history as well as perform simple neck movements to assess muscular strength, join motion and stability.

Additional tests, such as X-rays, bone scans, CT or MRI scans, may by ordered to identify the source of your neck pain. And although neck pain is typically treated with non-surgical methods such as medication, rest and physical therapy, but if neck pain symptoms progress, there are a variety of other treatments we can discuss with you.

Treatment for Neck Pain is available now at eMedical Urgent Care. Call to learn more about our services in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, (908) 464-6700, and Middletown, New Jersey, (732) 957-0707.

7 Secrets Every eMedical Urgent Care Physician in NJ Wants You to Know

Urgent Care Physician in NJWhether you wake up sick on New Year’s Day, take a spill on the ice or need a fast physical eMedical Urgent Care is your best bet to get treated quickly. But there are probably some things you didn’t know about us. Here are seven secrets every eMedical Urgent Care physician in NJ wants you to know:

7 Secrets Every Urgent Care Physician in NJ Wants You to Know

1. You Don’t Need an Appointment

The next time your regular doc tells you it will be months before you can get an appointment, walk-in and see us; we may be able to help. We offer complete urgent care, onsite laboratory and X-ray services at both of our centers and we’ll even electronically send your visit information to your primary care doctor on request. No appointment necessary.

2. We’ll Even See You on a Holiday

Illnesses and injuries don’t take a holiday vacation. Which is why we’re open seven days a week, including holidays! Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and other national and religious holidays, we’re open!

Our Berkeley Heights clinic is normally open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week. The Middletown clinic is normally open Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

3. You May Be Surprised By What We Can Treat

If you’re concerned about a fracture or broken bone, the ER is not your only choice. We are equipped with state-of-the-art X-ray technology so our staff can explore every possible source of your pain during the visit. We’ll also provide IV fluids for dehydration and routine annual physicals that you may need to get quickly for work, school or a sports team.

4. We Provide Workplace Health Services

As a full-service, physician-staffed resource for workplace medicine, we’re here to support New Jersey employers. From medical exams and pre-employment testing to D.O.T. physicals and worker’s compensation services, we’ll help you custom-design a workplace program, provide compliance support and manage costs.

5. You Won’t Wait Long

At eMedical, you’ll receive the same quality care you’d receive at an emergency room…but without the long wait and expenses. Since emergency rooms attract people with life-threatening ailments, you could be waiting as long as 4 hours before being seen by a physician. Our pledge is that you’ll be seen by one of our professional providers within 30 minutes on average.

6. We Offer Autism-Friendly Services

eMedical Urgent Care has specially trained staff and an autism-friendly urgent care examination room located away from the bustling nurses’ station and public waiting area. Our autism-friendly urgent care room is equipped with iPad apps that help our staff communicate with patients who have autism as well as others who may have verbal impairments.

7. No Insurance? No Worries.

If you don’t have insurance, we offer affordable prices though our eCard membership. This discounted cost for your office visit is only $89 (compared to the usual office visit cost of $140-183).

Find Your Trusted Urgent Care Physician in NJ at eMedical

Looking for a trusted Urgent Care Physician in NJ? eMedical Urgent Care has two locations in New Jersey, both of which are prepared to handle the full spectrum of you and your family’s urgent care needs. From pediatrics to work physicals to those unfortunate accidents that may result in a sprain or even broken bones, we provide the best medical care. Fast.

Call to learn more about our services in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, (908) 464-6700, and Middletown, New Jersey, (732) 957-0707.

January is National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month: Recognizing Head and Neck Injuries

Head and Neck InjuriesEvery year, throughout January, The Johnny OTM Foundation, along with the CDC, local urgent care centers, like eMedical Urgent Care, and surrounding sports clubs, work to raise awareness about common health risks related to participation in winter sports. Some of the common injuries related to winter sports include sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures. While all winter sports injuries should be taken seriously, head and neck injuries are especially serious as they have the potential to cause long-term health problems.

About National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month

It doesn’t matter if you’re five or 50, safety in the snow is important for all ages. The more you know, the more you and your family can have a safe and healthy winter season.

TBI stands for Traumatic Brain Injury. It’s a common result of head and neck injuries associated with winter activities such as skating, skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, sledding and tobogganing. The Johnny O Foundation along with National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month is a public campaign to highlight the dangers and importance of taking precautionary measures when participating in those sports. Their main goal is to decrease TBIs in the country.

Statistics on Head and Neck Injuries

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, each year, there are approximately 1.7 million head injuries in the United States. Commonly caused by falling or colliding into another person or object while skiing or skating, many of these accidents lead to head injures such as a concussion or TBI.

The top causes of TBI include:

  • Cycling
  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Softball & Basketball
  • Water Sports
  • Soccer
  • Powered Recreational Vehicles
  • Skateboards
  • Scooters
  • Golf
  • Fitness & Exercise
  • Winter Sports
  • Horseback Riding
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance
  • Cheerleading

However, not all head and neck injuries are related to sports. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 30% of TBI causes results from falls. So, whether you’re taking the dog out for a walk on an icy sidewalk or hitting the ice for a hockey game, you could be at risk. But just because there’s risk, that’s no reason to lock up and put life on hold. Go ahead and head out to enjoy the New Jersey snow, just exercise caution.

Preventing Head and Neck Injuries in the Winter

Since falls are one of the leading causes of TBIs, take caution on icy surfaces: walk slowly, wear boots with good tread and pay attention to the surface you’re walking on.

Preventive measures, such as wearing protective head equipment, choosing helmets that fit correctly and following safety rules, can help those who participate in winter sports prevent head and neck injuries. New to the sport? Don’t be afraid to take lessons.

Proceed with Caution

If you suspect a loved one has suffered a concussion or TBI, it is important to take the injured individual out of the activity until he or she has been thoroughly evaluated by an experienced medical professional. We offer convenient walk-in hours designed to fit your busy schedule; learn more about our services and how we can treat you and your family by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

The physicians at eMedical Urgent Care want to remind you and your loved ones to enjoy the winter season, but stay safe by taking proper precautions during play.

Feeling Heartburn? 5 Acid Reflux Symptoms That Require Immediate Medical Attention

HeartburnFeeling heartburn but not sure if it’s just because you ate your meal too quickly or that you ate too close to bed time or that it was just too much food in one sitting? As our work/school/family schedules continue to get jam-packed, it’s no wonder that many of us lack the time to eat a mindful, balanced meal.

But, how do you know when to walk it off, pop an over-the-counter antacid for indigestion and when you should see a doctor?

Feeling More than Heartburn: GERD

If you’re feeling effects that go beyond mild heartburn (and that fails to respond to simple over-the counter medications), you could be experiencing gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Here are 5 symptoms that indicate you should seek medical attention promptly for better treatment of this condition.

1. Abdominal Cramping

An upset stomach, including moderate indigestion and gas, can cause cramping in your abdomen. But if those cramps persist beyond using the bathroom, resting, or are in conjunction with tarry-looking stools, visit urgent care right away. Sever cramps could indicate internal bleeding or other stomach or intestinal damage.

2. Difficulty Swallowing

If swallowing food has become painful or you feel as if you’re choking when you eat, this could be a sign of severe acid reflux. Your throat and esophagus could be damaged from constant reflux of stomach acid; see a physician at eMedical promptly.

3. Constantly Coughing

A chronic cough could be more than just the common cold or allergies; it could actually be caused by GERD. If you suffer from a cough that can’t be relieved by a cough suppressant or a rescue inhaler, visit urgent care to test for acid reflux.

4. Chest Pain

Many mistake heartburn for a heart attack, but sudden or sharp chest pain is never something to be ignored. Likewise, if you experience symptoms of shock, such as weakness, confusion and feeling faint or dizzy, these symptoms also call for a trip to the doctor immediately.

5. Weight Loss

Uncontrollable weight loss can be the result of GERD robbing your body of the nutrients needed to maintain weight. If you seem to be losing weight uncontrollably, you need to visit urgent care quickly. Any delay could result in nutritional deficiencies and a suppressed immune system.

Heartburn and GERD Relief at eMedical Urgent Care

If you are suffering any of the above symptoms that are stronger than your typical heartburn, visit with your eMedical Urgent Care Physician promptly for a proper diagnosis.

eMedical Urgent Care physicians provide urgent medical care and heartburn treatment to both adults and children with convenient hours designed to fit your busy schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you and your family by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

Is it Bronchitis or Pneumonia? Comparing Symptoms of Each

PneumoniaHave you ever felt like you had a cold that you just couldn’t shake? It seemed you did everything possible under the sun from drinking a river of fluids, getting plenty of rest, even taking vitamin C and you still had a sore throat, nagging cough and felt unusually sluggish and feverish. It’s possible you didn’t have a cold, but rather pneumonia or even bronchitis.

But because they share such similar symptoms, how can you tell the difference between the two illnesses?

Let’s take a closer look.

Causes of Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs; bronchitis is an infection of the airways that lead to the lungs. Bronchitis can occur after a viral illness, such as the cold or flu and it is usually viral, meaning that antibiotics are not helpful with treatment. Some individuals with bronchitis are at an increased risk for getting pneumonia, which is usually more severe.

Symptoms of Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Although both illness have bothersome symptoms, people with pneumonia usually feel a lot worse than those with bronchitis.

Cough

Bronchitis- Painful, persistent dry cough at first. May produce mucus after a few days.

Pneumonia- Wet, productive cough that often brings up mucus from the lungs. The cough is frequently painful.

Mucus

Bronchitis- Phlegm may be clear, yellow, green or even tinged with blood.

Pneumonia- Mucus may be green, rusty or tinged with blood.

Fever

Bronchitis- Typically a fever is mild or not present at all.

Pneumonia- Fevers are often higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

Duration

Bronchitis- It can resolve with one to three weeks, but the cough may linger for weeks or months.

Pneumonia- May last longer than two to three weeks.

X-Ray

Bronchitis- X-rays will usually appear normal.

Pneumonia- X-rays will usually appear abnormal.

Other Symptoms

Bronchitis- Sore throat, chest pain, chest congestion, wheezing, body aches.

Pneumonia- Chills, shaking, fast heart rate, headache.

Am I Contagious?

One of the most common questions about pneumonia and bronchitis is if it is contagious.

Is Pneumonia Contagious?

Pneumonia is usually caused by an infection, most commonly bacteria and viruses, which are both contagious. The germs are usually breathed in from coughing and sneezing or touching an object and transferring the germs.

Is Bronchitis Contagious?

Since acute bronchitis is usually caused by the cold or flu virus, that makes it just as contagious for a few days to a week. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is not contagious.

Like the common cold and flu, however, you can prevent the spread of pneumonia and bronchitis by taking hygiene precautions such as washing your hands regularly and using a tissue to cough or sneeze.

Treatment for Pneumonia and Bronchitis

As you can see, pneumonia and bronchitis both cause coughs and have similar symptoms. But they require significantly different treatments and only your health care professional can diagnose your illness to determine what treatment option is right for you. If you or a loved one is experiencing a persistent or severe cough that interferes with daily activities and sleep, have a high fever or your symptoms continue to worsen, visit eMedical Urgent Care immediately.

Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

And remember, after treatment allow yourself time to recover, drink plenty of hydrating fluids and take the prescribed medications through to completion.

Win the War Against Germs: 5 Tips to Prevent the Flu at Work

Prevent The FluIn sickness and in health…professionals are coming to work. And you could be sitting right next to them wondering, “How in the world am I going to prevent the flu when this person looks like they belong in a NyQuil commercial?”

Sick? Stay Home

With a limited number of sick days, workers feel pressured to go to the office while under the weather. In fact, a new survey tells us that 85% of employees admit to doing so. Whether they feel guilty about letting the coworkers down, worried about work piling up, or just don’t want to ‘burn’ a sick day, it’s bad for business.

An article in Bloomberg points out, “Presenteeism—showing up at work ill, whether they’re contagious or not—costs companies about $150 billion a year, one study estimated. A worker is about a third as productive when he’s slumped in a desk chair working at half-speed as he is when he’s healthy, say researchers.”

With the ability to telecommute, a lot of businesses are saying, “STAY HOME.” Losing one day is better than affecting the entire team. Often people are contagious from the day before they realize they’re sick to about five days after.

Tips to Prevent the Flu

Make a point to heed these tips at the office

1. Wash Up with Soap and Water

Did you know that the typical office desk can have 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat?!

The quickest way to clear away germs is by washing your hands regularly. Doorknobs, telephones, elevator buttons, computer keyboards, water fountain buttons and even the refrigerator door in the office break room can host millions of germs and bacteria at any given time. Disinfect these objects often and then wash up.

By washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, you can protect yourself from germs that cause the common cold and avoid spreading illness to others.

2. Keep Your Distance

Sneeze droplets can travel as far as six feet. These droplets can get in your mouth or nose if you breathe them in; if you hear a sneeze. Duck! At least keep your distance if you notice a co-worker is coughing, sneezing or sniffling; that’s how diseases spread.

3. Get Prepared

These germs can also sit on objects near you. If you touch something that’s contaminated, avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose…or you may likely get sick. Place tissues and hand sanitizer everywhere to subtly encourage others at the office to use them, too.

4. Be Well

Best practices for wellness include: staying hydrated, reducing stress, exercising, eating whole foods and getting enough sleep.

In addition, lose the extra booze. Alcohol interferes with sleep quality which can directly impact your immune system. These are all simple ways to keep you healthy and productive through the entire cold and flu season.

5. Get the Flu Shot

And, of course, the easiest and surest way to prevent the flu is with a flu shot. And because the influenza viruses change every season, it’s important to get vaccinated every year.

Stay Healthy and Prevent the Flu with eMedical Urgent Care

Win the war against germs this winter and prevent the flu at work. If a coworker comes to work sick, remind them to stay home. Or just send them a link to our blog.

Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.