Infectious disease specialists work with your primary care provider to help combat complex illnesses and infections.
Your doctor may refer you to an infectious disease specialist when:
- An infection is difficult to diagnose
- A patient does not respond to treatment
- A healthy person plans to travel to a foreign country or a location where infection risk is higher
- An infection is accompanied by a high fever
- Treating illnesses becomes a part of a patient's overall care
In all of these cases, the specialized training and diagnostic tools of the infectious diseases team can help determine the cause of your infection and the best approach to treatment. Infectious disease treatments consist of medicines—usually antibiotics—to help battle the infection and prevent it from returning. These medicines may be given orally—in the form of pills or liquids—or administered directly into your veins, via an IV tube.
Often you will be asked to return to the infectious disease specialist for a follow-up visit. This allows the specialist to check on your progress, confirm that the infection is gone and help prevent it from coming back.