Infectious Diseases

When to consult an infectious disease specialist

A general practitioner is trained to treat most infections, but sometimes specialized expertise is needed to either diagnose or manage specific infectious diseases. It may be necessary to consult an infectious diseases specialist when:

  • A fever raises the suspicion of an infection
  • An infection is potentially serious
  • Problems occur with treatment

Infectious Disease Specialists have expertise in infections of the sinuses, heart, brain, lungs, urinary tract, bowel, bones and pelvic organs. Their extensive training focuses on all kinds of infections, including those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Many ID physicians specialize in treating patients with infections due to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of AIDS.

Along with their specialized knowledge comes a particular insight into the use of antibiotics and their potential adverse effects. ID specialists also have additional training in immunology (how the body fights infection), epidemiology (how infections spread) and infection control—American College of Physicians