Our Specialists Are Experts in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Illnesses Caused by Microorganisms.
Infectious Disease Specialists (ID Specialists) see patients to determine whether their symptoms are due to an infection. Patients often see ID specialists due to a fever.
Facts About Infectious Diseases
Infectious diseases are caused by microscopic organisms – including bacteria, viruses, fungi and animal parasites – that penetrate the body’s natural barriers and multiply to create symptoms that can range from mild to deadly. Although progress has been made to eradicate or control many infectious diseases, humankind remains vulnerable to a wide array of new and resurgent organisms. The problem is complicated by rapid biological processes that result in the emergence of new, potentially dangerous bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). In addition, previously recognized pathogens can evolve to become resistant to available antibiotics and other treatments. Factors such as population crowding and easy travel also make us more vulnerable to the spread of infectious agents.
Recent concerns about bioterrorism have focused new attention on eradicated or rare infectious diseases such as smallpox and anthrax.
Types of Infection
Some infections, such as measles, malaria, HIV and yellow fever, affect the entire body. Other infections, however, affect only one organ or system of the body. The most frequent local infections, including the common cold, occur in the upper respiratory tract. A serious and usually local infection of the respiratory tract is tuberculosis, which is a problem worldwide. Other common sites of infection include the digestive tract, the lungs, the reproductive and urinary tracts, the eyes or ears. Local infections can cause serious illnesses if they affect vital organs such as the heart, brain or liver. They also can spread through the blood stream to cause widespread symptoms. The outcome of any infection depends on the virulence of infectious agents, the number of organisms in the infecting inoculum and the response of the immune system. A compromised immune system, which can result from diseases such as AIDS or treatment of diseases such as cancer, may allow organisms that are ordinarily harmless to proliferate and cause life-threatening illness.
Modes of Infection
Common ways in which infectious agents enter the body are through skin contact, inhalation of airborne microbes, ingestion of contaminated food or water, bites from vectors such as ticks or mosquitoes that carry and transmit organisms, sexual contact and transmission from mothers to their unborn children via the birth canal and placenta.
Evaluation and Treatment
- Fever of Unknown Origin
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Bone & Joint Infections
- Skin & Soft Tissue Infections
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Lyme Disease
- Acute & Chronic Wounds
- Viral Infections
- Post-Operative Evaluation
How Does My ID Specialist Work with Other Medical Professionals?
The ID specialist works with your personal physician to determine which diagnostic test are appropriate.
ID specialists review your medical data, including X-rays and laboratory reports such as blood work and culture data. They also may perform a physical exam to help determine the cause of the problem.
ID specialists often order laboratory tests to examine samples of blood or other body fluids or cultures from wounds. A blood serum analysis can help the ID specialist detect antibodies that indicate what type of infection you have. These advanced tests can further explain the results of earlier tests, helping to pinpoint the problem.
Treatments consist of medicines, usually antibiotics, to help battle the infection and prevent it from returning. These medicines may be given to you orally (in the form of pills or liquids) or administered directly into your veins, via an IV tube. Many ID specialists have IV antibiotic therapy available in their offices, which decreases the likelihood that you will need to be hospitalized.
The following information supplied by idsociety.org.
What is an ID Specialist?
Infectious Disease Specialists are like medical detectives. They examine difficult cases, looking for clues to identify the culprit and solve the problem.
Your ID Physician Has 9 Years of Specialized Education & Training
Board Certified ID Specialists have met the specified educational and examination requirements of the American Board of Internal Medicine.
When You Need an ID Specialist
Many common infections can be treated by your personal physician. Your doctor might refer you to an ID specialist in cases where an infection is difficult to diagnose, is accompanied by a high fever, or does not respond to treatment.
ID specialists also see healthy people who plan to travel to foreign countries or locations where infection risk is higher. In these cases, ID specialists can help determine whether special immunizations or other preventive measures are necessary to protect travelers from disease.