woman sick at home with ovid-19 or the flu

Navigating Symptoms: Differentiating Between COVID-19 and the Flu

By | Urgent Care | No Comments

As we head into flu season, it’s crucial to be able to distinguish between common respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 and the flu. Recognizing the subtle differences in symptoms can help you make informed decisions about when to seek medical attention. Here’s a guide to help you navigate these symptoms:

Key Symptoms Shared by COVID-19 and the Flu:

Fever and Chills:

  • Both COVID-19 and the flu are often present with fever and chills. Pay attention to the intensity and duration of your fever.


  • A persistent cough is a common symptom for both illnesses. Observe if your cough is dry or produces mucus.

Muscle or Body Aches:

  • Muscle and body aches are typical in both cases, but they might be more pronounced in the case of the flu.


  • Feeling unusually tired can be associated with both COVID-19 and the flu. Note the severity and whether it hinders your daily activities.

Differentiating Symptoms:

Loss of Taste or Smell:

  • An unusual symptom associated with COVID-19 is a sudden loss of taste or smell. If you experience this, it may be indicative of COVID-19.

Eye Redness or Discharge:

  • Is another unique symptom associated with certain variants of COVID-19. If you experience this, it may be indicative of COVID-19.

Shortness of Breath:

  • While both illnesses can cause difficulty breathing, severe shortness of breath is more commonly associated with COVID-19. Seek medical attention if you experience this symptom.

When to Seek Medical Attention:

Severe Symptoms:

  • If you experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, inability to stay awake, or bluish lips or face, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Persistent Symptoms:

  • If your symptoms persist or worsen over time, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional.

Exposure to Confirmed Cases:

  • If you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or the flu, monitor your symptoms closely and seek medical advice if needed.

Next Steps:

If you suspect you have COVID-19 or the flu, it’s essential to contact your healthcare provider promptly. Sand Canyon Urgent Care with offices in Irvine, CA and Laguna Hills, CA offers walk-in appointments and is equipped to handle respiratory illnesses and can provide guidance on testing and treatment options. Remember to follow CDC guidelines, including self-isolation if necessary, to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

By staying informed and proactive, you can play a crucial role in safeguarding your health and that of those around you. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact us and seek professional medical advice—it’s better to be cautious when dealing with respiratory symptoms.

when to use urgent care or emergency room

Urgent Care and the Emergency Room: What’s the Difference?

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When to Visit Urgent Care vs. an Emergency Room

A disaster strikes and you or someone you’re with needs medical attention immediately. What do you do? For most people, their first thought is to visit the nearest Emergency Room. However, in many cases, going to your local urgent care is just as effective and oftentimes quicker and more affordable. You should know the differences between these two centers before an accident occurs so you can make an informed decision when the time comes.

Simply put, emergency rooms (ERs) can handle trauma, x-rays, surgical procedures, and other life-threatening situations. Urgent care is equipped to handle non-life threatening situations.

When to Go to Urgent Care

Studies show that seventy percent of emergency room visits can be handled in an urgent care setting. Most urgent care centers are open late and on weekends and accept walk-in patients with no appointment necessary. They are staffed with high-quality professionals who have access to x-ray and on-site lab testing. Urgent cares offer an affordable, efficient and convenient alternative to the emergency room and can help treat medical conditions quickly, given the situation is not life-threatening. If you are in a life-threatening situation and require immediate medical attention, dial 9-1-1 immediately.

You should visit an urgent care center if you experience any of the following:

  • Minor sprains, strains and fractures
  • Neck and back pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Blood work or x-rays
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Fever
  • Burns, cuts and lacerations
  • Travel or flu vaccinations
  • Rashes and allergic reactions
  • Cold or flu symptoms

When You Need an ER

ER visits are necessary when a patient is suffering from a life- or limb-threatening medical condition. Common signs that you need to visit an ER include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Stroke
  • Head trauma
  • Severe bleeding
  • Loss of vision
  • Major car accident

For your health concerns and medical needs, visit Sand Canyon Urgent Care. We welcome walk-in patients at our Irvine and Laguna Hills locations. Call us at (949) 536-7892 or visit us here to get started!

Pink Eye Facts: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

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What You Should Know About Pink Eye

“Pink eye” is a term that may sound scary but this common eye problem is easily treated and, with a few simple prevention techniques, can often be avoided. While any individual of any age can get pink eye, preschoolers, schoolchildren, college students, teachers, and daycare workers are particularly at risk for this contagious type of eye infection. Read on for facts about pink eye that you should know.

Causes of Pink Eye

There are different types of pink eye, including viral and bacterial. Viral pink eye is caused by viruses like adenovirus and herpes virus. Generally, this clears up without treatment in 7 to 14 days. Bacterial pink eye, however, is caused by bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pneumonia. The individual can benefit from taking antibiotics, which should start clearing up the infection within 24 hours. Without antibiotics, most cases of bacterial pink eye improve within 10 days.

Symptoms of Pink Eye

Both viral and bacterial pink eye cause the same general symptoms, including:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Watering eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Swelling
  • Burning or irritation
  • Crusting of the eyelids or lashes
  • Discharge from the eye

Treatment of Pink Eye

Although most cases of bacterial and viral pink eye will heal on their own without treatment, individuals can relieve the symptoms by

  • Using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops to prevent dryness
  • Washing away the discharge with a wet washcloth or tissue
  • Removing contact lenses and only wearing glasses until the symptoms are gone
  • Taking antiviral medicines – some viral pink eye may respond well to medicines
  • Using antibiotic eye drops
  • Refraining from touching or rubbing the eye

For all of your health concerns and any of your medical needs, visit Sand Canyon Urgent Care. We welcome walk-in patients. Call us at (949) 536-7892 or visit us here to get started!

emergency room or urgent care

Why You Shouldn’t Go to the Emergency Room for Occupational Injuries

By | Urgent Care | No Comments

ERs aren’t right for treating occupational injuries.

After an on-the-job injury has occurred, it’s natural to choose the emergency room for instant care, treatment, and to implement a successful return-to-work program. Although this sounds like a quick and easy fix, it may end up being more of a hassle than you realize. It could even cost you more time and money in the long run.

After an injured employee has been evaluated and treated by an ER department, it’s common for the physician to recommend rest and no work activity for a certain number of days of weeks. While an ER physician is trained to stabilize an injury, there is very little focus on any short-term work restrictions or long-term recovery. So, when the initial injury occurs, opt to visit an occupational medicine provider instead of the emergency room!

An experienced occupational medicine provider offers a single source for all your employees’ needs. By visiting this professional first, he or she will be able to accurately track your employee’s progress throughout the coming days and weeks. As a result, he or she can create a tailored return-to-work program that is more realistic and achievable for the employee and the employer.

While the emergency room is known as the place for immediate and emergency care, it is not known for being economically-friendly. The ER is the most expensive level of care. Majority of cases seen in the ER can be treated more affordably at an urgent care and/or at an occupational medicine center.


Need to get treatment quickly? Visit Sand Canyon Urgent Care or call our center in Irvine at (949) 417-0272 and in Stanton at (714) 604-2850.


Common Summer Ailments: When to Visit Urgent Care

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When to Visit Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room

You always hope the summer will go off without a hitch. However, if you or a loved one becomes ill or injured, you must know ahead of time where to seek medical care and treatment. The emergency room plays a vital role in providing life-saving services, but sometimes, urgent care is more appropriate.

While the summer is all about sun and fun, there are certain health care concerns that are more common at this time. Some summer conditions can be addressed quickly at an urgent care so you can get back to enjoying the summer as soon as possible.

Common Summer Ailments

Some of the most prevalent injuries that occur in summer include:

  • Sports injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures
  • Head injuries
  • Insect and animal bites such as bees, ticks, and dogs
  • Rashes from poison ivy, oak, sumac
  • Heatstroke and dehydration
  • Burns – including sunburns
  • Food poisoning

When to Visit Urgent Care

Treatment at an urgent care clinic is advised if the summer injury or illness is not life-threatening. Urgent care centers can tend to walk in patients quickly so that care and treatment are received without delay. Please bear in mind that an urgent care is not a substitute for an emergency room. If you believe your ailment is life-threatening in any way, please call 911 and visit the emergency room immediately. For everything else, the team at an urgent care can help.

For minor to moderate injuries and medical issues, visit Sand Canyon Urgent Care. Our team of providers are expertly trained and have years of hands on knowledge and are able to efficiently and effectively handle all medical conditions. If a higher level of care is needed, our triage staff and/or providers will direct patients to the appropriate specialist, or to an emergency room for further treatment. Call us today for more information!


Most Common Urgent Care Conditions

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Common Conditions Seen in Urgent Care 

There are many conditions that can be treated at an urgent care facility, from injuries to illnesses. Keep in mind that urgent care is not appropriate for life-threatening conditions (for those, please call 911). However, for basic injuries and illnesses, urgent care is ideal. Additionally, these facilities take walk-ins and appointments on short notice.

An urgent care facility offers emergency room care without the outrageous co-pays and long waiting times. While they can help you with almost any emergency ailment, there are a few common conditions that urgent care sees on a regular basis.

Common Injuries Treated at Urgent Care

Many people who come into urgent care facilities are there because they have an injury or have experienced trauma. Generally, the injury or trauma that causes someone to come into urgent care isn’t life threatening. Typical common injuries include:

  • Fractures
  • Whiplash
  • Burns
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Sprains
  • Injury from falls
  • Injury from car accidents

Illnesses Treated at Urgent Care

In addition to injuries, urgent care can help when people are feeling under the weather. These illnesses are not life-threatening but may require treatment. Usually, a course of antibiotics or other medication can help. Common illnesses that are treated in an urgent care facility include:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Yeast infections
  • Pink eye
  • Mono
  • Bronchitis
  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Ear Infection
  • Strep throat

Urgent care facilities can help a range of healthcare issues. It is a good idea to come into an urgent care facility if you are experiencing some of the following symptoms:

  • A sore throat
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash
  • Wheezing
  • Minor abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Other unexplained pain or swelling

It’s important that you know when to visit urgent care. For minor to moderate injuries and medical issues, visit Sand Canyon Urgent Care. If a higher level of care is needed, our triage staff and/or providers will direct patients to the appropriate specialist, or to an emergency room for further treatment. Call us today for more information!