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Pandemic could lead to a hidden adverse effect on long-term health

February 04, 2021

The news has largely been focused on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and has now turned its attention to the availability, efficacy and safety of the two vaccines being administered. While the pandemic has been an all-encompassing focus, and for good reason, one very important fact has not be emphasized. People have other health issues that are going undiagnosed or untreated because of misgivings about seeking medical care.

Chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer are all preventable and treatable if caught early, and the delay in diagnosis is leading to fewer positive outcomes.  Health experts at Fitzgibbon Hospital remind people that the hospital has taken every precaution to make sure our patients are safe, and routine medical screenings and treatments are imperative for early detection and better outcomes for care.

In a release by the World Health Organization in the summer of 2020, health services in many countries outside of Covid-19 response have been partially or completely disrupted since the onset of the pandemic.  It is estimated that 53 percent of hypertension treatment, also known as high blood pressure, has gone untreated while 49 percent of those with diabetes or diabetes-related complications have remained untreated or undiagnosed.  This holds true for 42 percent of those who have cancer and have not sought treatment, while 31 percent have forgone medical care for cardiovascular emergencies.  Rehabilitation services also have been widely impacted.

To encourage individuals to re-engage with their health, Fitzgibbon Hospital’s annual health fair will be held from 7 to 10 a.m. on Friday, April 30.  This year’s health fair will offer the new Covid-19 antibody test as part of its package of standard tests, such as A1C, cholesterol, blood count, metabolic panel, thyroid stimulating hormone and more. Pre-registration is available online at

Individuals are strongly encouraged to seek out routine medical screenings and physician visits. Maintaining good health overall and obtaining preventative care on a regular basis should remain a focus, rather than just avoidance of Covid-19.

To make an appointment for a routine health check, immunization or cancer screening, call your primary medical provider for an appointment. If you do not have a place where you currently receive routine medical care, the staff at Marshall Family Practice is taking new patients.  Nurse practitioner, Chrissy Williams, recently joined the staff at Marshall Family Practice and would love to be your source the routine medical care for you and your family.  Call (660) 886-7800 to make an appointment.