Differences Between COVID PCR and Rapid Tests

What are some of the differences between a COVID PCR test and a rapid test?

Here are a few:

1. PCR or Polymerase chain reaction tests detect RNA ( the virus’ genetic material).
2. Rapid tests or antigen tests detect proteins on the surface of the virus called antigens.
3. A PCR test is considered to be highly accurate. It is the most sensitive test method available at this time.
4. According to the CDC, antigen test sensitivity “varies depending on the course of infection, but generally moderate-to-high at times of peak viral load.”
5. Most PCR test specimens are processed in a lab.
6. Rapid test samples are applied to a test strip.
7. The turnaround time for PCR test results on average can be 1- 3 days (This may vary depending on a facility’s capacity to process specimens)
8. The turnaround time for rapid test results ranges from 15- 30 minutes.

Remember getting tested for COVID is very important to prevent the spread of the virus. If you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID, you should get tested regardless of vaccination status.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dr. Philip Cruz Shares His “Jamaica Journey”

Thousands of people work at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, and each has their own unique story to tell about their career paths. The following is one of them.

The Jamaica Journey of Dr. Philip Cruz began the day he was born. “I was born at Jamaica Hospital and spent my early childhood years living in South Ozone Park. This is one of the many reasons why I have such a strong connection with my patients and the community” explained Dr. Cruz.

Growing up, Dr. Cruz had a love for the sciences and research. His parents encouraged him to pursue a profession that would allow him to utilize both interests. This led to a successful career in stem cell research.

However, as time went on, Dr. Cruz realized that laboratory research was not his true calling. He decided to follow his intuition and enrolled in medical school in 1997 at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, which is now the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine.

After graduating medical school, Dr. Cruz did his residency training at the Family Medicine Residency Program at Jamaica Hospital in 2001. Upon the completion of his residency in 2004, he decided to further his medical training.

Over the next year, Dr. Cruz completed a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the University of Massachusetts. “Many people don’t know this about me but I was a varsity athlete in my undergraduate years at the University of Pittsburgh. I have always had a desire to enhance my knowledge of sports medicine, and use this information to further help my patients and educate our residents and students,” said Cruz.

At the end of his training in Massachusetts, Dr. Cruz returned to Jamaica Hospital in 2005 as a faculty attending. He spent several years working in the Family Medicine and Emergency Departments.

Today, Dr. Cruz serves as the Director of Osteopathic Education in the Department of Family Medicine . In this role, he is responsible for teaching medical students and supporting residents throughout their career journeys. In addition to teaching, Dr. Cruz continues to see patients regularly. He is known by his colleagues and patients for his kindness and having a service-minded heart.

“My journey at Jamaica Hospital has been positive. I like what I do, where I do it, and the people that I do it with. There is a strong feeling of family and support here,” stated Dr. Cruz. “My colleagues and I also share similar principles and goals. We aim to meet our patients where they are, foster meaningful relationships and provide them with quality healthcare.”

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Have You Had Your Annual Medical Exam ?

An annual medical exam is a good way of tracking your health progress.  Some of the benefits are:

  • Primary prevention
  • To identify risk factors for common chronic diseases
  • To detect disease that has no apparent symptoms (secondary prevention)
  • A way for the doctor to counsel people to promote healthy behavior
  • To update clinical data since your last check-up
  • To enhance the relationship between you and your doctor

If you are interested in scheduling an exam, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  Call 718-206-7001 for an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

This Month Our Employee Spotlight Shines on Eduard Kandov, RN

This month we are proud to shine our Employee Spotlight on Eduard Kandov, RN.

Eduard is a registered nurse who works in the Psychiatric Emergency Department and has been with us for five years. He chose psychiatry because he loves to help people who are in need of mental health support and he does his job with pride.

 Eduard was born in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, and attended elementary through high school there. At the age of 21 he came to the United States and worked as a hairstylist for many years until he made the decision to begin studying at Queensborough Community College where he obtained his nursing degree. Eduard then completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Ternopil Medical State University and is currently working towards his Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification at Fairleigh Dickenson University.

 Eduard previously lived in the Briarwood section of Queens and currently lives in Fresh Meadows. He has three children, who he enjoys spending time with. Eduard likes to travel and has been to many different countries including Italy, Spain, and the Czech Republic which he tells us are all beautiful. His favorite foods are from his native Uzbekistan and he also enjoys Italian cuisine. Eduard enjoys all types of music. When he was a child, he played the accordion. As a hobby he collects money from around the world. One of the sports he is fan of is Mixed Martial Arts.

 Eduard enjoys working at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center because his coworkers make it feel like a family. We are very happy to have Eduard as part of our team and look forward to him remaining with us for many years.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

#WellnessWednesday

When seeking to achieve a wellness lifestyle, try to keep it simple.

Some simple ways you can bring more wellness into your life are:

  • Drink more fluids
  • Remember to eat a healthy breakfast daily
  • Make a list of goals you’d like to meet
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand so that you do not become too hungry
  • Move around during the course of the day. Take a brisk walk or just get up from your desk chair and stretch
  • Get enough sleep.  It is recommended that six to eight hours of sleep is beneficial
  • Make time for yourself (meditation, yoga, exercise, prayer)
  • Organize and de-clutter your life and surroundings

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a very common disease that affects our joints. It is a leading cause of disability in America.

In OA, cartilage between our joints becomes damaged and over time thins out significantly. When this happens the bones in the joint touch each other, causing pain and inflammation.

Some people are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than others. Those at risk include individuals who:

  • Have previous trauma to a joint
  • Have a family history of OA
  • Are female
  • Overuse joints
  • Are advancing in age
  • Are obese

OA can affect any joint in the body; however, it mostly affects the knee and hands. Pain associated with OA is slow in onset and gets worse with time. The pain is often described as a deep ache that worsens with moving and improves with rest.   Individuals may also experience swelling and/or stiffness of the joints.

Damage to the joints is irreversible. Therefore, the goal of treating OA is to control the pain, keep the disease from getting worse and preserving function. Your doctor may suggest the following treatments:

  • Pain control with acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • RICE therapy which stands for (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Resting has shown to help improve pain. Especially if the osteoarthritis is from overuse from a job or recreational activity.
  • Maintaining function through targeted exercises
  • Maintaining a healthy weight which will help lessen stress on the joints and improve pain and function
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Patient education (The goal is to empower patients to self-manage this condition)

When the disease progresses and becomes severe, steroid injections in the affected joint can help with inflammation. Surgical options are also available to patients in very severe cases.

If you are experiencing symptoms of OA, please speak with your doctor so that he or she can come up with a plan to help you better manage this condition.

To speak with a Family Medicine doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-657-7093.

Chanpreet Singh, M.D.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Tips On How To Gather And Travel Safely For The Holidays

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced the emergence of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the variant is likely to spread more easily than the original virus.  Therefore, it is important for people to exercise safety and caution, especially while traveling and gathering during the holiday season.

If you plan on traveling or socializing, it is important to follow these safety guidelines provided by the CDC to protect your health and the health of others:

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Test to prevent spread to others (Getting tested can give you information about your risk of spreading COVID-19).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Do not travel if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, or if you test positive for COVID-19.

The CDC is also recommending that you delay travel if you have not been fully vaccinated. Other travel and socialization recommendations include keeping gatherings small and consider staying at a hotel if you are visiting loved ones out of town.

Getting vaccinated is the most effective way to reduce the spread of the virus and minimize the severity of the disease.

It is important to keep in mind that you are considered vaccinated two weeks after receiving your second shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or two weeks after a single dose of getting Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.  If you do not meet these requirements, you must continue to take the same precautions as those who are unvaccinated.

By following these recommendations, we can stop the spread of the virus, protect our health, and safely enjoy the holidays.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

The holidays are a great time to safely connect with family and enjoy delicious, home-cooked food. However, it is important to keep in mind how to cook safely in order to avoid any injuries or emergency room visits.

One of the most common causes of kitchen injuries is burns, which can be caused by picking up a hot pan or dish without using an oven mitt. Burns can also be caused by spilling hot oil when frying food or spilling hot water when boiling food. Be sure to use protective tools when cooking to avoid these types of accidents. Also, when cooking over a stove or any open flame, make sure to never wear loosely fitting clothes. Loose sleeves, shirttails, sashes, can get caught over the flame and cause a fire to break out.

When cooking, be careful not to cut yourself when chopping up vegetables or other food items. Believe it or not, it is actually safer to use a sharp knife rather than a dull knife when cutting. A sharp knife is easier to use in a cutting motion and will allow the user more control. A sharp knife will also avoid the need for using excessive force when cutting, a practice that can lead to loss of control and cause injuries. Always remember to never cut towards your body, but to cut away from your body.

Watch out for slipping in the kitchen as well. It is good practice to keep a kitchen mat under the sink to soak up excess water that may spill over the edge. Water from a pot boiling over on the stove can also lead to a spill. Make sure not to cook barefoot, just in case hot oil spills while cooking or sharp food remains or objects fall to the floor.

Be mindful of food allergies. Make sure that allergy information is shared. Many foods contain tree nuts, shellfish, wheat, and soy, which are common allergens in adults. It is a good idea to place a placard with allergy information on trays to be transparent about ingredients.

Overall, it is a good idea for every household to own a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, fire detector, and carbon monoxide detector during any time of the year. A first aid kit should contain different sized bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, and antiseptic cleaning wipes to clean wounds.

Stay safe and enjoy the holidays!

Jessica Dennehy, Trauma Injury Prevention Coordinator

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

MediSys Family Care Center in Hollis

This month, we would like to shine our spotlight on the MediSys Family Care Center in Hollis, New York.

The center located at 188-03 Jamaica Avenue first opened its doors in 1996 and currently sees over 3,000 patient visits each year.

The staff takes great pride in providing quality healthcare and have been embraced by the community. Here are some of the reasons why the providers at the MediSys Family Care Center at Hollis enjoy working at this site. Diana Loor, patient care associate, tells us  ” my favorite part about working at this office in Hollis is being able to assist our community with medical care.  I work with a dedicated team of providers and staff who are welcoming and care deeply about our community.” Adriana Fuentes, office coordinator, explains “what I like most about working at MediSys Hollis is navigating and learning through the challenges how to better serve the community.” Patient navigators Ivonne Ramirez and Ana Mendoza Moreno are proud to say “working at Medisys Hollis is very satisfying. We work as a team and our priority is to take care of our patients in the community.” Dr. Indrani Persaud has been working at this office for seven years and enjoys working here because  she gets to work with a diverse population of patients who come from places like Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Africa and Guyana.

The MediSys Family Care Center in Hollis  offers a wide range of services including:

OB / GYN
Internal Medicine
Podiatry
Pediatrics

The hours of operation are: 

Monday – Friday  8:30 AM – 5 PM

Saturdays 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM.

The office is accessible by  public transportation: Q 110, Q2 & Q3 (buses only)

To schedule an appointment at Medisys Family Care Center in Hollis please call 718-740-2060.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Handwashing Awareness Week

The first week in December is marked as National Handwashing Awareness Week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handwashing is one of the best “do-it-yourself” precautions to prevent infections —it involves five simple and effective steps (Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry).

Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities can help us to reduce the spread of germs and several illnesses.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.