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An acute illness can be defined as one that develops very suddenly and rapidly without any existing symptoms or indicators, and runs its course in a short period of time – often in a few days or weeks. Once the right treatment/acute care is given to a patient, there is a very high probability of recovery.

Some acute illnesses, such as a seasonal cold or influenza, do not usually require medical intervention and the patients recover after the illness runs its course. Others acute illnesses, such as pneumonia and appendicitis, will require immediate medical assistance.

Most common examples of an acute illness include:

  • Asthma attacks
  • Broken bones
  • Pneumonia
  • Croup
  • Bronchitis
  • Typhoid
  • Strep throat
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Burns
  • Viral or bacterial infection

 

What are the most common causes of acute illness?
Acute illnesses can occur as a result of the following:

  • A fall, an injury or any sudden trauma
  • Wrong dosage or over dosage of medication or substances
  • Sudden aches and pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold, cough
  • Burns

In certain cases, sudden symptoms such as a headache, severe abdominal pain, painful urination, difficulty in breathing, severe infection and/or uncontrolled fever, could be indicative of a more serious underlying infection or medical condition that should be evaluated and treated immediately.

What is the difference between an acute and a chronic illness?
Any illness that comes on suddenly and runs its course quickly is considered “acute”. An ongoing illness or one that continues to occur repeatedly is considered “chronic”. Chronic illness can be defined as a condition that is not necessarily fatal, but one that has no cure and needs to be managed with the right medical treatment.

Some acute conditions, can result in a chronic condition when left untreated over time.

The most common chronic conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic kidney disease

Managing a chronic condition by controlling its symptoms should be done by consulting your healthcare provider to create a comprehensive treatment plan beyond just medication that includes lifestyle modifications, therapies, exercise plan, planning your nutrition and limiting the consumption of stimulants and intoxicants.

When should you seek medical assistance?
Whether it is a simple flu that has lasted longer than it should have or unexplained headaches or stomach pain, it is important to seek medical assistance if you are over 50 years of age and/or fall under a high-risk health bracket (obese, smoker, pre-existing health conditions).

Most acute conditions will go away on their own, and symptoms can be lessened or shortened with using over the counter medication and antibiotics. For more serious illnesses requiring immediate medical attention, please visit an urgent care center or emergency room. If you or someone nearby you is having a health emergency, call 911 immediately. Seeking assistance in a timely manner will help you reduce the chances of any further complications or long-term health risks.

Our highly qualified medical team at Integra Urgent Care can help you if you are experiencing symptoms of an illness, have had an accident, a fall, a burn, or are experiencing any condition that requires immediate medical care. Please call us with any questions, concerns or to schedule an appointment. We have three urgent care clinic locations in the DFW, Texas area to serve you: Weatherford, Las Colinas, and Grand Prairie. Clinic details and contact information are listed on our website at https://integrauc.com/locations/

FAQs

What are the symptoms of acute illness?
Common symptoms of an acute illness include fever, cold, cough, runny nose, earache, diarrhea, sore throat, nausea, rash or headache.

What is an example of an acute illness?
Strep throat, pneumonia, and appendicitis are some examples of acute illnesses. These conditions will require immediate medical attention and treatment.

What does it mean to have an acute illness?
An acute illness is characterized by a sudden onset of pain or a severity in condition which runs a short course either naturally or with short-term medical care in cases such as an accident, injury or a serious illness. These types of illnesses include anything from a sore throat to a broken bone, a burn or a case of sinusitis.

What are the most common acute illnesses?
Most common examples of an acute illness include:

  • Asthma
  • Broken bones
  • Pneumonia
  • Croup
  • Bronchitis
  • Typhoid
  • Strep throat
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Burns
  • Viral or bacterial infection

Is a cold an acute illness?
A common cold is an upper respiratory tract infection and can be infectious. By definition of an acute illness, a cold is also considered to be an acute illness, especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as high fever, wheezing, shortness of breath, and sore throat.