Infectious diseases are a subspecialty of internal medicine. Infectious disease specialists are responsible for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of serious and/or life–threatening infections.
Although the great majority of infections experienced during a person’s life are brief and self–limited, an occasional long–lasting or severe infection may occur and require the care of a specialist. Should the problem be identified as either difficult to cure or life–threatening, the infectious disease physician may be consulted to provide additional sub–specialty evaluation and care.
Some of the diseases cared for by an infectious disease specialist include meningitis, severe pneumonia, infection of heart valves, abscesses of organs, bone and joint infections, blood stream infections, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and infections following surgery.
Additional services available are travel medicine advice and immunizations, intravenous antibiotic therapy, and follow–up to hospitalization.