October is the ideal month to get your annual flu shot

October is the ideal month to get your annual flu shot

Dr. Haidar Al-Saadi, Lakes Urgent Care Medical Director

Just like Christmas tree displays pop up in the stores before Halloween, free flu shot offer signs also show up a bit too soon. If you haven’t gotten your annual flu shot yet, you are right on schedule.

“October is really the ideal month to get your annual flu shot,” said Lakes Urgent Care Medical Director Dr. Haidar Al-Saadi. “That’s because it takes a few weeks for the vaccine to become effective and flu season typically begins in November as we all start to move all activities indoors, kids are back in school, and celebrate holidays together.”

Everyone six months and older is eligible and should get a flu shot every year. For adults 65 and older, Lakes Urgent Care has a special high-dose version of this year’s vaccine, available at both our West Bloomfield and Livonia locations. Walk in any time, no appointment needed.

“Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors and early indications about the flu season in Australia, this is shaping up to be a worse than normal flu season here in Southeast Michigan,” said Dr. Al-Saadi. “We encourage everyone to get their annual flu vaccine in addition to being up to date with the latest COVID vaccine booster.”

According to a recent article in Popular Science and other sources, there are a few clear-cut indicators that suggest we may be in for a rough flu season. Essentially, a bad flu season abroad and low US/Southeast Michigan vaccination rates for the flu are the reason why so many people are predicting that we may be in for a rough flu season.

Pickleball injuries are on the rise – Lakes Urgent Care can help

Pickleball injuries are on the rise – Lakes Urgent Care can help

Pickleball injuries are on the riseIt seems like everyone is playing Pickleball these days. This fast paced outdoor game is part tennis, part ping pong, and a lot of fun to play. But while it can be a casual and social game, some take their Pickleball very seriously, the action can get intense, and Pickleball injuries are on the rise. Those quick stops, starts, and spins can lead to ankle sprains, pulled muscles, or worse.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, Pickleball injuries were on the rise even before the pandemic. One analysis, published in 2019 in The Journal of Emergency Medicine, estimated that there were 19,000 pickleball injuries in 2017, with 90 percent of them affecting people 50 and older.”

For minor sprains and strains, the R.I.C.E. method works best: rest, use ice on the injured area, and keep it elevated. This can help dull the pain, minimize the swelling, and help you heal and recover faster. You can also add an anti-inflammatory drug such as NSAIDs to help with pain and swelling.

But if you injure yourself and cannot reliably bear weight on a lower extremity or use your upper extremity for simple tasks like opening a door or carrying a book, it is best to have a physician evaluate that injury and take diagnostic x-rays to rule out the possibility of a fracture. Keep in mind that even though somebody may be able to move a joint, there may still be an underlying fracture and the only reliable method to determine this is with an x-ray and a physician evaluation.

“Since most of us are weekend/after work athletes, Lakes Urgent Care is open late, and we can be a great resource for all sports injuries,” said Dr. Haidar Al-Saadi, Lakes Urgent Care’s medical director. “We have digital x-ray capabilities on site, and we can quickly help determine if you just have a sprain or strain. If your injury is more serious, we can either treat your injury on-site or refer you to a specialist.”

What to know about Monkeypox in Michigan

Monkeypox virusThe human monkeypox virus was first discovered in 1970 and there are presently 19 confirmed infections of monkeypox in Michigan; eight are in Oakland County. Right now, the risk to the general public is low. But it’s important for you and your family to be informed so we’ve created a concise guide to help you understand how the virus started, how it spreads, and how Lakes Urgent Care can help if you think you have symptoms.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is caused by infection from the monkeypox virus which comes from the Orthopoxvirus genus, according to the World Health Organization. The disease can be “transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus,” the WHO says on its website. According to a recent article in USA Today, there is absolutely no connection between COVID-19 or the COVID-19 vaccine and the monkeypox virus.

The state has set up a robust site about monkeypox in Michigan, along with updated case counts by county:

What are the symptoms?

The Oakland County Health Department lists fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion as the primary symptoms. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after a fever, a rash (often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body) occurs. Lesions progress through several stages before falling off.

What should I do if I think I have it?

See a healthcare provider immediately if you have any of the symptoms associated with the monkeypox virus. At Lakes Urgent Care, we can perform a test to confirm if you have monkeypox. If you have it, avoid all contact with others until the virus has run its course. The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks, and a person is considered infectious from when symptoms begin until lesions have crusted, those crusts have separated, and a fresh layer of healthy skin has formed underneath, according to the Oakland County Health Department.

Is a vaccine available to prevent or treat monkeypox in Michigan?

smallpox vaccine

If you have a confirmed case of monkeypox in Michigan, consult with your primary care physician immediately. Right now, there is not a treatment specifically for the monkeypox virus. However, since monkeypox is like the smallpox virus, the State of Michigan indicates that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat MPV infections.

States are receiving vaccine allocations from the Strategic National Stockpile in accordance with the number of MPV cases and the size of the underlying at-risk population.  Presently, Michigan has received a limited supply of the vaccine.

Michigan launches monkeypox website, Oakland County forming task force to address outbreak (Detroit Free Press)

How to avoid and remove ticks: smart summer safety in Michigan

How to avoid and remove ticks: smart summer safety in Michigan

Black legged tick found in Southeast MI

Our changing climate, as discussed in a recent MI Radio report, is giving ticks the opportunity to gain a stronger foothold in Southeastern Michigan. Knowing how to avoid and remove ticks is smart summertime safety, as ticks can spread disease to you, your family, and your pets.

How to avoid ticks: When on a hike, walk in the center of the trail. Wear light colored clothing to make ticks easy to spot. Apply an insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET. Consider wearing clothing treated with permethrin when hiking or working in wooded areas.  After returning from a possible exposure area, consider placing clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 60 minutes. This will kill the ticks. In Southeast Michigan, the greatest time of risk is from April through September.

How to remove a tick: Ticks are skillful at attaching themselves to skin, and it’s difficult to remove them. Use fine tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Pull at a perpendicular angle to the skin surface until the tick lets go. Remove a tick as quickly as possible to decrease the length of exposure.  Avoid “breaking” the tick. Any small pieces left in the skin could cause a localized infection. You may also visit us at Lakes Urgent Care for this procedure.

If a bite gets infected: Initial signs and symptoms include itching, burning, and redness in a circular fashion around the tick bite. Sometimes that rash can proceed to what is called a bull’s-eye lesion with concentric red circles around the bite area. If the disease is going to progress, you’ll start to have flu-like symptoms including muscle aches, fatigue, headache, and fever.

If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, immediately see your primary care physician or a certified urgent care like Lakes Urgent Care for diagnosis and treatment.

Additional links and information:

There’s a tick boom in Michigan – Here are 5 things you should know

It’s tick season: Here’s what you need to know

Get ready for the 2022 allergy season

Get ready for the 2022 allergy season

2022 Allergy Season - Young woman blowing her noseOur spring season is off to a chilly start, but it won’t be long before the 2022 allergy season, like the leaves, flowers, and grass, will be in full bloom. If you suffer from spring allergies, here’s some information and tips to help get you through the season.

New research is predicting that the 2022 allergy season will be longer and more intense due to climate change. According to Dr. Sindhura Bandi, Rush University Medical Center-Division of Allergy and Immunology, some trees have been releasing pollen ahead of schedule, and the 2022 allergy season is starting earlier.

And a new University of Michigan study also confirms that climate change is making our pollen season longer and more miserable. “We saw different species react differently to climate change, oak and cypress families are very sensitive to climate change and in the future, they will have a big increase,” said Yingxiao Zhang, lead author of the study.

If you suffer from spring allergies, your best defense is to talk to your doctor or visit us at Lakes Urgent Care to understand what allergens make you miserable and proactively start your treatment program.

Prepare early for the 2022 allergy season

Preparing early for the 2022 allergy season now can significantly reduce your symptoms once the season begins. The best way to prepare is to talk to your primary care physician about your specific allergy symptoms. They may have you start preventative allergy medications now, which can help prevent early inflammation and the cascade of allergic reactions before they spiral out of control. If you’re not sure of the source of your allergies, see your doctor right away and get tested. Knowing what types of allergens trigger your symptoms can help refine treatments and help you reduce exposure. The CDC is an excellent source of information about particular types of allergies and pollens.

Have a seasonal allergy action plan and think preventative. When you use medications early, you may ease your symptoms all spring. Finding the right combination of treatment might take a bit of trial and error:

  • Antihistamines can help sneezing, runny nose, or itchy eyes.
  • Decongestants can help when you’re all stuffed-up because they shrink the lining of the passages in your nose. You can try a nasal spray or a pill but be aware of potential rebound effect with long-term use – they are best used for occasional relief.
  • Nasal corticosteroid sprayed into your nose can give you relief from stuffiness and sneezing. These are very effective when used regularly, but they may take a few days or weeks to kick in.
  • The masks you’ve been wearing lately can also be a great defense from pollen and other allergens. Wearing a mask when spending time outdoors can ease your misery.

Always consult with your primary care physician if you take other routine medications to avoid potentially problematic interactions.

How to avoid icy Michigan slips and falls

How to avoid icy Michigan slips and falls

walking like a penguin can help you avoid falls in icy outdoor conditions.

Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits each year, representing the leading cause of visits. And as we age, falls become more dangerous to our health. Here are some tips for keeping your balance and on your feet when it gets slippery out there.

  • Take small careful steps instead of large ones. When getting out of a vehicle, step, don’t jump. When possible, use handrails, handles – anything that will help keep your balance.
  • Don’t carry large loads while walking on snow or ice. If you are carrying a load on an icy walk and feel yourself falling, toss your load to break the fall with your arms.
  • While walking, retain stability by keeping your hands out of pockets.

The government of Alberta Canada’s website contained a valuable list of additional tips:

  • Find a path around snow or ice when you can.
  • Learn how to Walk Like a Penguin (video)—walk slowly, take small steps, and point your toes out slightly to be more stable on icy paths.
  • Keep your head up and don’t lean forward.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets to help keep your balance.
  • If you use a cane, you can buy an ice pick for the cane.

If you have fallen, wait a moment and do a “self-assessment” rather than quickly getting up. Most bumps and bruises do not require medical attention. However, if pain from a fall persists beyond a few hours or you are unable to bear weight or move an upper extremity without pain, be sure to get evaluated by a physician. If the fall should cause a broken bone with skin disruption, get emergency care immediately. Most other sprains, strains or fractures can be safely treated by your primary care physician or at a certified urgent care. Lakes Urgent Care, in West Bloomfield and Livonia is a certified urgent care and can complete digital x-rays and initiate fracture care and casting, avoiding a visit to the emergency department.

More Information:

Preventing Falling on Ice and Snow

Winter Walking Tips: Lower Your Risk of Falling

Avoiding the slip: Winter fall prevention

Tips to help you and your family get through the COVID, cold and flu season

Tips to help you and your family get through the COVID, cold and flu season

According to a January 11th article in Crain’s Detroit, the current COVID-19 surge “is expected to peak in late January.” In addition to this latest COVID variant, we’re also dealing with metro Detroit’s usual cold and flu season.

And as reported recently in the Detroit News, “Experts say testing is the best way to determine what you have since symptoms of the illnesses can overlap. The viruses that cause colds, the flu and COVID-19 are spread the same way — through droplets from the nose and mouth of infected people. And they can all be spread before a person realizes they’re infected.”

Our Lakes Urgent Care staff is working hard to meet the extra service demand, and we appreciate your patience during this challenging time. If we can’t always answer the phone, it’s because our staff is busy helping patients. We are also dealing with staffing challenges at times, like many other service providers in our area.

All COVID testing is by appointment only at www.lakesurgentcare.com, but you don’t need an appointment for urgent care services.

Cold symptoms tend to be much less severe, but if you think you may have the flu or strep throat, we also offer a new test that can quickly diagnose the flu with nearly 100% accuracy and strep throat with 98% accuracy – a major advancement in testing accuracy.

You do not need an appointment for this test, and it takes about twenty minutes on-site, enabling a Lakes Urgent Care physician to make a fast, more confident, and reliable treatment decision while you are still in the office.

Here are some additional links:

No-cost COVID testing near you

Information about flu activity in your area



Safely dispose of prescription drugs through the DEA Drug Takeback Day

Safely dispose of prescription drugs through the DEA Drug Takeback Day

Safely get rid of any unused prescription medicines in your home during the DEA National Takeback Day, this Saturday from 10am-2pm. Almost 10 million people misuse prescription drugs every year most of these misused drugs were obtained from a family or friend’s medicine cabinet. Disposing of unused prescriptions drugs safely at this event also keeps them out of our water supply.

Click on the link to find the takeback location closest to you.

DEA Drug Takeback locator

Protect yourself from the 2021 Michigan Mosquito Invasion

Protect yourself from the 2021 Michigan Mosquito Invasion

Welcome to the great mosquito invasion of 2021. Our dry spring, coupled with a very wet summer is the culprit. disease. Protect yourself from mosquitoes! Because they are so plentiful right now, and carry the risk of disease, Lakes Urgent Care Medical Director Dr. Sanford Vieder suggests you take an extra precaution. Wear long sleeves and long pants whenever you go outside, whenever possible. Apply a good quality insect repellent that contains at least 10 percent DEET to any unprotected area. Mosquitoes breed in standing water and puddles, so don’t let any water accumulate around your home. Click on the links for more information, treatment tips and different products to keep the buzzing and biting at bay.

How to treat mosquito bites/itching

Best bug sprays

Why mosquitoes are worse this summer in Michigan

Products that keep mosquitos away

Ask Dr. Vieder

COVID-19 vaccine update: April 2021

COVID-19 vaccine update: April 2021

Right now, everyone 16 and older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.We highly recommend that you proactively make an appointment to vaccinate yourself and all eligible members of your family.

COVID-19 Vaccination appointments are available now at Ford Field:


Additional COVID-19 vaccination appointment sites:



Lakes Urgent Care has been approved by the State of Michigan as a vaccination site. We currently do not have the vaccine and don’t know when we will receive our initial allotment. As soon as we have the vaccine, we’ll let you know how to book a vaccination appointment online or by phone.

Additional COVID-19 resources: