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Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Diagnostic & Antibody Testing

COVID-19 testing has developed as the pandemic has continued, with more accurate swab testing and antibody testing available to detect a past infection with the virus. Whether or not you have exhibited symptoms of the virus, getting tested may be on your mind as you prepare to return to your workplace and states begin to reopen. We understand that you may have questions about testing, the different available tests and when to get tested. Learn more about testing and who is qualified!

Antibody Testing

Antibody testing is a blood test that detects the presence of antibodies in your blood. Your blood sample is sent to a private lab and evaluated to look for signs of protein or antibodies in your immune system. A positive test indicates past infection or exposure with the virus, even if you have not experienced any symptoms. The full power of the antibodies is still unknown and continuing to be studied. Even if you have antibodies, it is still important to continue following local and state health and safety guidelines.

Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic swab testing is used to detect and diagnose an active case of COVID-19. A swab is taken of the lower nasal cavity and then brought to a lab for testing. The test takes only a few moments and is virtually painless. Results are available in two days.

What’s the Difference? 

The primary differences between diagnostic and antibody testing are how the sample is taken and what the test tests for. A diagnostic test will not show if you have antibodies from a previous exposure, while antibody testing will not identify a current case of COVID-19. Both tests require processing and analysis in a lab for accurate results.

How Long Does Testing Take? 

Both diagnostic and antibody testing results take about 2 business days to get back from the time the blood or nasal swab is taken. The process is quick, but until you get results back, you should still take all precautions recommended by the CDC and World Health Organization, as well as the state of Maryland. This includes wearing a protective mask or face covering, practicing social distancing and washing your hands regularly, especially after spending time in public areas.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Swab & Antibody Testing

If you are interested in learning more about or undergoing COVID-19 testing, visit Centennial Medical Group and First Call Urgent Care! We will be able to answer your questions and provide efficient testing, with results in only a couple of days. For more information, please call  410-730-3399.

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Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Antibody Testing

As states and local businesses prepare to reopen, patients may be looking for more information about whether or not they have been exposed to COVID-19. Between the relatively young age of the virus and the high number of positive cases where the patient has not exhibited symptoms, much information is still being researched and determined. By getting tested for COVID-19 antibodies, you will be able to determine if you have developed an immune response against the virus. 

What is done during an antibody test?

An antibody test detects the presence of antibodies, which is formed after an infection. Antibodies are an immune response to an illness or virus that can be found through a simple blood test. In order to get tested for COVID-19 antibodies, you must visit Centennial Medical Group. Please wear a mask when visiting our center for testing. 

What do my test results mean?

A positive antibody test result indicates that you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have developed an immune response to the virus. Research is still being conducted to determine whether or not that indicates immunity to further infection. If you test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, you should continue to follow local health and safety guidelines including wearing a mask or protective face covering in public areas and social distancing.

A negative antibody test indicates no exposure to COVID-19 and that you have not developed antibodies for the virus.

Differences between COVID-19 Diagnostic & Antibody Testing

COVID-19 diagnostic testing is used to detect and diagnose the active COVID-19 virus. Testing is performed by taking a swab of the lower nasal cavity, which takes only a moment and is painless for the patient. Results are typically available within three days. Antibody testing is performed by taking a blood sample and can only determine if there has been a past infection. The test detects the presence of antibodies formed about ten days after an infection has healed. Due to this, it is recommended you wait between ten and fourteen days after symptoms subside to get tested for COVID-19 antibodies. It is important to note that while you may get a negative result back from your antibody test, you may have been exposed in the days leading up to your test. 

COVID-19 Antibody Testing in Elkridge & Columbia, MD

If you are preparing to return to your workplace and are unsure if you have been exposed to COVID-19, visit a local urgent care center for testing.

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Why is My Bronchitis Getting Worse

Bronchitis is a type of illness that occurs when your bronchial tubes become inflamed and irritated. Your bronchial tubes are responsible for moving air in and out of your lungs, so it’s needless to say they’re very important. Bronchitis causes painful coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other uncomfortable symptoms for those suffering. If you have bronchitis that’s continuing to get worse instead of better, don’t give up hope just yet! 

If you need Bronchitis care, please contact Centennial Medical Group right away for treatment options that are available.

Bronchitis Causes

Bronchitis is most commonly caused by an upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold. The virus causing the cold travels through your body, and in some cases, inflames, and irritates the bronchial tubes. Bronchitis can also be caused by environmental irritants, although this is less common. 

Acute vs Chronic

There are two different types of bronchitis and understanding the difference is very important. 

  • Acute – acute bronchitis is the type that’s caused by a viral or bacterial infection in your body. Acute bronchitis typically lasts 1 to 2 weeks, but a lingering cough may last up to 90 days. 
  • Chronic – chronic bronchitis is most often caused by irritants, such as smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke. To be diagnosed with chronic bronchitis you have to have bronchitis for at least 3 consecutive months for two consecutive years. 

What’s Making it Worse?

When bronchitis continues to get worse instead of better, it’s frustrating for the patient. There are a few things that could be making your bronchitis worse. If you have acute bronchitis that’s getting worse, you could have an infection that requires antibiotics. Most cases of bronchitis clear up on their own, but not all of them. if you have any underlying health conditions, you’re at a higher risk to have bronchitis that can’t go away on it’s own. For chronic bronchitis sufferers, your symptoms will continue tog et worse if you’re exposed to the irritants that caused the bronchitis in the first place or if you’re suffering from COPD. 

Treating Bronchitis

Bronchitis is treated on a case-by-case basis because everyone is different. If you’re suffering from acute bronchitis, you can stay home to see if symptoms improve. You need to seek immediate medical care if you have trouble catching your breath or the coughing gets so severe it keeps you up at night. 

Get treated for your bronchitis at a nearby urgent care center for convenient, affordable, same-day care! 

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Where in the US is Coronavirus a Potential Risk

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has shaken people across the world. After originating in Wuhan, China, the virus has rapidly spread around the globe. International travelers carried COVID-19 to their home countries, despite airport screenings and travel restrictions. Now that the virus is in America people are wondering, what states are at risk? 

If you’re looking for more resources please consult the CDC for information about COVID-19 prevention, news updates, and how to stay safe during this time.

Where has COVID-10 Spread?

Coronavirus has been confirmed in 46 states and the Dominican Republic. The first cases were linked directly to international travels, but now person to person cases have begun to pop up. Some COVID-19 cases have even been diagnosed when there is no known contact with another infected individual, which makes this virus truly a widespread threat. The coronavirus is here and in almost every state, so it’s safe to say that everyone is at a potential risk. 

Who’s at the Highest Risk?

Certain people are at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 and suffering more severe symptoms. The groups at the highest risk include: 

  • Elderly 
  • Immunocompromised people 
  • People suffering from underlying medical conditions – diabetes, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, etc. 

Anybody can catch the coronavirus, even if they aren’t considered high risk. Young, healthy people may carry the virus without knowing and spread it to people in at-risk groups. 

What You Can Do

Since the coronavirus is spreading across the nation, what can you do? At this point the biggest focus is on slowing the spread of the virus so our healthcare system is able to keep up and offer treatment to those who need it. You can help prevent the spread by: 

  • Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze 
  • Practice social distancing – avoid close contact with others, especially in large groups
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly 
  • Avoid touching your face 
  • If there’s a chance you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, self-quarantine for 14 days
  • Remain calm – creating mass panic leads more people to hoard food, supplies, and medication they may not need. We’re equipped to handle the virus, but only if everyone remains calm. 

If you believe you have coronavirus, do not go to the ER or urgent care. Test kits aren’t readily available and visiting the ER or urgent care just exposes other patients and healthcare workers to the possibility of the virus.

Stay home, call your primary care provider or health department, and avoid contact with people until you’ve been advised otherwise. Seek medical attention if you have difficulty breathing or a high fever that won’t break with over the counter medications. 

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Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Mountains of snow covering sidewalks and driveways force many people out of their homes each winter. For a lot of those people, they’ve been leading a sedentary lifestyle until the snow can’t be ignored anymore. Then, it’s time to pick up a shovel. Shoveling snow is a strenuous and tiring activity, but did you know it comes with some serious health risks too? 

Snow Shoveling Risks 

Snow shoveling poses multiple risks. First, there’s a risk of injury. Injury can occur while shoveling snow due to falling, improper lifting technique, overexertion, and more. The most common snow shoveling related injuries include muscle strains, back injury, head injury, and bone fractures. In addition to those acute injuries, shoveling snow causes a high number of heart attacks each year. Those suffering from a chronic health condition or with a history of heart disease are at a higher risk for heart attack. 

Safety Tips 

Stay safe while shoveling by following these tips!

  • Don’t shovel immediately after consuming caffeine or nicotine – this increases your risk of heart attack when combined with colder temperatures. 
  • Don’t overexert yourself – stop shoveling when you’re tired
  • Take your time
  • Stretch before shoveling
  • Remember to push snow with the shovel, don’t lift it 
  • Spread rock salt or kitty litter to provide traction while you shovel 
  • Don’t shovel at all if you have a history of heart disease. Your risk is too high – ask for health from a friend or neighbor. 
  • Know the signs of a heart attack – common signs of heart attack include chest pressure or tightness, shortness of breath, pain in the left arm or shoulder, sweating, and more. 

If an injury does occur, visit your local urgent care center right away for treatment. If you suffer a hard fall and are unsure if you’re injured or not, it’s always best to go get checked out! If you believe you may be having a heart attack, call 911 right away. 

How Can Urgent Care Help? 

When you’re suffering from a chronic health condition that could lead to a heart attack, getting regular medical care is important. Visit your local urgent care to address any preventative care needs you may have and to assess your current health status. If you suffer an injury or illness that is non-life-threatening, urgent care can help! Don’t forget to bring a list of all current medications and inform our urgent care staff of your entire medical history so we’re able to treat you in the best way possible. 

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Public Health Tips for Managing Flu Season

Flu season begins each year around October and although it happens every year, many people still aren’t sure what they can do to avoid getting or spreading the flu. The CDC provides some useful tips to the public each flu season as a reminder that the flu can be managed and, in many cases, avoided all together! Check out some of those tips below. 

The Importance of Your Flu Shot

Getting a flu shot during flu season reduces your risk of getting the flu by over 80%. The flu shot has little to no side effects other than injection site redness, it’s covered in full by most major insurance companies, and you can get it with just a quick trip to your local urgent care center or walk in clinic. Experts recommend getting your flu shot at the beginning of flu season, but you can get it late in the season and still enjoy the benefits of a lower risk of getting the flu. 

Keep Clean Hands

The flu is highly contagious which makes hand washing during flu season more important than ever! Wash your hands regularly throughout the day and encourage friends and family members to do the same. Proper hand washing should include these steps: 

  • Wet your hands with warm or cold water
  • Lather soap 
  • Continue to lather your hands, including between the fingers and the back of your hands, for at least 20 seconds. Keep track of the time by humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice. 
  • Dry your hands using paper towels or an air dryer. Wet hands pickup and spread germs more easily than dry hands. 

Prevent the Illness from Spreading

If you do become ill, the CDC recommends minimizing your exposure to other people. That means calling off of work or school until you’re no longer contagious. It might be annoying to put your life on hold but keeping your illness away from others is the best way to prevent it from spreading. You should avoid close contact with anyone during this time of year too. Avoid handshakes and hugs by simply telling people you’re trying to avoid the flu this winter! 

If you’re in need of treatment for the flu, visit your local urgent care center. An urgent care can also administer flu shots to lower your risk of getting the flu. Even though peak flu season has passed, it isn’t too late to get vaccinated!

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How to Create Healthier Family Holiday Traditions!

Family holiday traditions are the best part of this time of year. Traditions bring people together, make you feel nostalgic, and offers a break from the stress of normal day-to-day life. Unfortunately, many holiday traditions that families share aren’t so healthy. We want to help change that this year! Check out these tips and suggestions to make your holiday traditions a little healthier. 

Being Healthy Doesn’t Mean Giving Up Fun

It’s important to note that creating healthy traditions doesn’t mean giving up the family fun. In fact, some healthy traditions are even more fun than the unhealthy alternatives! You’ve just got to go into it with an open mind, ready to have fun. Encourage your family members to do the same. If parents talk about new traditions like they’ll be fun, kids are sure to follow suit!

New Healthy Holiday Traditions to Try

If you’re in need of healthy holiday tradition ideas, give one of these a try!

  • Outdoor winter fun – you may think cold weather forces you to stay inside, but that isn’t the case. Try a fun winter outdoor activity to get everyone up and moving. Snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, and even building a snowman are some great things to try. 
  • Try New Recipes – trying a new recipe together is a great way to get everyone together, bonding in one room of the home. Find some healthy recipes to replace your traditional ones and give them a shot. If your kids love making Christmas cookies, they’ll still love it even if the recipe is a little more health conscious! 
  • Caroling – caroling is an old-fashioned holiday tradition that’s making a comeback. It’s a great way to get out of the house and out of your comfort zone all at the same time! If you’re nervous, try to find a local caroling group that you can join in with until you get the hang of it. 
  • Read Christmas stories – instead of just watching Christmas movies, encourage your children to read Christmas stories with you as a family. Take them out to buy a few new books and watch them fall in love with the holiday spirit on the pages! 

How Can Centennial Medical help?

For more tips and advice on creating healthier holiday traditions for the whole family, visit our walk-in clinic! Our staff members are people with families just like you, so they know first hand how hard it can be to make healthy changes. We’re willing to answer any questions you may have and help to get the entire family on board!

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Why Do Seasonal Athletes Need Physical Therapy in the Fall?

Physical therapy addresses the need to get long-term physical pain or ailments treated in the most effective way possible. What most patients may not fully understand though is that physical therapy is crucial for seasonal athletes during the fall season. Without it, seasonal athletes may spend more time in pain and less time enjoying the sports and events they love.

Many patients may confuse physical therapy as the highly intensive care treatment used to treat disabilities and extreme, life-altering injuries. But what those patients may not fully realize is that physical therapy has acute and urgent treatment options for injuries that are painful, but not as significant as a disability.

So how can seasonal athletes benefit this year from physical therapy services. In addition, Centennial Medical also provides the following physical therapy needs for patients at our Laurel, MD location:

Physical therapy can help heal sudden sports injuries

Patients that want to receive immediate treatment and healing for their sudden sports injuries should visit a physical therapy provider!

Physical therapy helps address acute injuries that could worsen overtime such as sprains, bruises, muscle pain, cramps, and other sports-related injuries. Physical therapy allows patients to get back to being athletes with a specialized treatment plan and a clinically-tailored plan for patients.

A physical therapy provider also helps with wellness goals

Physical therapy is not only just to help heal injuries, but it is a service that can help improve overall wellness and athletic performance for serious athletes.

A physical therapist can help educate athletes of all skill levels on how to properly maintain their body, improve flexibility and strength, and ensure that athletic performance can continually improve. Simply consult your physical therapist about the types of wellness goals you’re trying to achieve to initiate a new plan.

Physical therapy appointments keep patients healthy after significant injuries

As we mentioned above, physical therapy is crucial to ensuring that patients can heal at a satisfactory rate after a serious injury such as trauma for a car accident, broken limb, or a similar significant injury. Without a physical therapy plan, patients may soon experience a variety of health detriments including chronic pain, arthritis, or even worsened pain over time.

No matter what your needs are physically there is a physical therapy plan that can help you improve physical performance or maintain peak health. Just make sure you take the time to get an appointment and think about how you can be the best athlete possible this fall season.

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Why do Patients Need Primary Care in the Fall Season?

Primary care is one of the core medical services that patients will need in order to maintain peak overall health during their lifetime. Most patients understand the general needs and advantages of primary care compared to other facilities: comprehensive health assessments, personalized care, trustworthy primary care provider relationships, and health screenings tailored to your needs.

For seasonal care needs however, primary care services as an important crux of wellness and overall health management for a majority of patients. The fall season tends to be the busiest for families and individuals that require a wide range of services. Usually, patients will prepare any medical appointments near the beginning or middle of autumn to ensure they remain healthy for a full calendar year.

But why is primary care so important in the fall for most patients? What should new patients that need primary care understand about seasonal care?

Annual physicals in the fall are very common for most patients

Whenever a patient needs to get a routine physical or annual check-up, they are likely to get their appointment in the fall season. Most patients schedule their personal, school, and/or work time on top of their schedules for medical appointments. The middle of autumn is a busy time for primary care patients since they try and get an accurate year-to-year physical.

If you need to get a physical or primary care appointment, it may take some time to schedule. The fall is a great season to effectively plan for your medical care!

Primary care providers also provide vaccinations and seasonal illness prevention in fall

Seasonal care needs like flu shots and vaccinations are also an important part of primary care services that help avoid sudden illnesses. Many younger patients, such as children over the age of six months, will begin routine vaccinations to stay safe. Since contagious diseases spread in the fall, it helps to get your child’s vaccines ASAP.

Additionally, primary care providers can plan for any patient over six months of age to get their flu shot. A flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu virus each consecutive year.

Primary care screenings in the fall can help make your holidays healthier

The most important part of primary care is to ensure that any emerging or consistent medical conditions don’t worsen. This is because primary care providers can perform screenings for chronic disease risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol. Before the big holiday season, it may help to get a few screenings to help manage what you eat and avoid harmful health conditions.

If you’re interested in primary care at Centennial Medical, please contact us today and schedule an appointment!

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What are the main symptoms of the flu?

Flu season is pretty much here as the fall comes into full swing! As more people stay close together indoors during gatherings, work, and school the flu has a greater chance of spreading from person to person.

The best way to protect against the flu virus is with an updated flu vaccine known as a “flu shot.” Patients that do not have a flu shot are likely to experience a lot of irritable and fatiguing flu symptoms.

Diagnosing the flu early can help most patients prevent further diseases, treat the disease faster, and ensure that they are ready to coordinate any symptom treatment that they may need. Make sure that you consider getting a flu shot, since it is by far the most effective way to prevent the latest flu virus.

Fevers are the first sign that patients have the flu

A sudden or unusually high fever is the first sign that you have a flu infection. Before any other common symptom, the fever is the initial symptom of a greater flu virus infection.

Unlike other diseases, the flu usually causes immediate symptoms after just a day or two, sometimes up to three. However, in those first two days a patient is likely to have a fever along with any other common symptoms. Make sure you monitor the severity of any strong headaches or a potential fever for a day or two. Follow up any symptoms by visiting a nearby urgent care provider to coordinate new treatment.

Immediate flu symptoms include sneezing, coughing, congestion, and sore throat among others

When the flu has fully spread throughout your body, then you’ll begin to notice some traditional symptoms of the flu such as sneezing, coughing, congestion, sore throat, and general respiratory irritation.

During this time, breathing becomes harder and your body is fatigued as it fights of the influenza virus. Usually, patients will need extended rest or days off in order for their body to completely fight off the flu virus.

Vulnerable patients may be hospitalized from the flu virus!

Many patients may not fully realize that the flu can especially impact the health and safety of vulnerable individuals, which leads to hospitalizations. Patients that have trouble breathing, asthma, respiratory issues, or auto-immune deficiencies may have more serve symptoms that require intensive hospital care.

To avoid the flu, simply visit a nearby urgent care center to get your flu shot and receive seasonal flu treatment for any potential flu-related illnesses!

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