Infectology is that part of medicine that deals with infectious diseases. Thanks to vaccines, the prevention of these diseases has made significant progress over the past few decades. Some great epidemics have effectively been eradicated; at the same time, however, previously unknown diseases have appeared.
Due to their varied pathogens, infectious diseases have various symptoms, of those fever, diarrhea, vomiting, respiratory difficulties and skin rashes are the most prevalent.
When should we consult an infectologist?
You should consult an infectologist if you suffer from a fever of undetermined origin for several weeks and the usual tests and examinations (physical and laboratory) have not found the source. Also if, in addition to the fever, you have a rash that appeared following a trip to the tropics or to an area of contagious diseases.
What does an examination at the infectologist entail?
Detailed medical history will be taken. Following a physical examination and routine laboratory tests, serologic tests and bacteriological culture will be taken to show the presence of infectious diseases.
The treatment of infectious diseases has made significant progress during the past few decades. Casual treatment has been the normal treatment for destroying the causative agents. We have all the appropriate medications to combat bacteria, viruses or other causative agents (i.e, protozoans and tapeworms).
How can infectious diseases be prevented?
Along with the treatments, prevention plays an extremely important part - the number of diseases prevented through vaccinations is constantly increasing. Today, many are of the opinion that immunization is not necessary since the immune system should fight the diseases. This may be true for some, however, we cannot rule out the fact that it is through vaccinations that many, earlier deadly, world-wide epidemics are in the process of eradication. Also, vaccines can prevent diseases that we cannot as yet cure in its entirety and that can cause permanent damage. Such is the infectious inflammation of the liver caused by the B virus (Hepatitis B) as well as encephalitis caused by ticks.