Infectious disease physicians diagnose and treat infectious diseases of all types. Examples of infectious diseases include HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, herpes, influenza, tuberculosis and emerging infections. Many infectious diseases, such as measles and chickenpox, can be prevented by vaccines. Frequent and thorough hand-washing also helps protect you from most infectious diseases.
Infectious diseases are caused by organisms, for example bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Many organisms live in and on our bodies and are harmless or even helpful, however some organisms may cause disease.
Infectious diseases can be passed from person to person; be transmitted by bits from insects or animals. Others are acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water or being exposed to organisms in the environment.
Depending on the organism causing the infection signs and symptoms can very, but often include fever and fatigue. Mild infection may respond to rest and home remedies, while some life-threatening infect may require hospitalization.