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The Importance of Testing Services at Urgent-Care Facilities

Many people believe that urgent-care services only handle minor issues like school vaccinations until a patient can take the child to visit their regular doctor. While urgent-care centers do perform many mundane but useful services, they can also prevent serious illness and death through testing for infections that can transform into more deadly sicknesses without treatment.

What are some of the illnesses that can be treated or cured through testing at an urgent-care facility?

Strep throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that manifests itself in a sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, fever, and other minor symptoms. Strep throat can also lead to a condition called scarlet fever, which produces rashes on various parts of the body.

Neither of these conditions present life-threatening symptoms. However, if left untreated, a condition known as rheumatic fever can develop. This illness can cause permanent damage to the heart, with heart failure as a possibility.

Fortunately, the bacteria that causes strep can be found during testing at an urgent-care facility. Antibiotics are then prescribed that can stop strep infections before they transform into these more serious illnesses.


HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the condition that leads to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), a potentially fatal autoimmune disease that can be treated and maintained for a lifetime.

However, many people have contracted HIV, which is spread through sexual contact, drug use, and other methods, without knowing it. If individuals with HIV don't get tested, they not only delay in halting or slowing the progression of the disease through treatment but also may infect unsuspecting sexual partners through unprotected sex.

HIV testing is performed at most urgent-care centers, and since it is often asymptomatic (no symptoms) at first, it is best to get tested if you think there is any chance that you have been exposed to the HIV virus.

Influenza (flu)

Flu symptoms will often resemble a very bad cold, but left untreated, it can lead to serious illness or death in vulnerable populations, such as the very young or old or those with compromised health.

If you test positive for flu at a local urgent-care center, you can be prescribed anti-viral medications that, while they won't cure influenza, will lessen the impact of the symptoms. A positive result of a flu test will also alert you to avoid spreading the virus to friends and family, particularly those who are the most vulnerable to the more severe results of the flu.

There are various other illnesses for which you can be tested at your local urgent-care center. Going to an urgent-care facility for testing is often the better option than waiting for an appointment with your doctor or going to an expensive hospital emergency room. 

Don't wait until a minor illness becomes a major one. Get diagnosed and tested at a center for urgent care near you.