An infectious disease — also called a communicable disease — is any illness caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi.
They can be passed from person to person or transmitted through bites from insects or animals. You can also acquire an infectious disease by ingesting contaminated food or water, or from exposure to pathogens (disease-causing organisms) in your environment.
Many infectious diseases, such as measles and chickenpox, can be prevented with vaccines. For other infectious diseases, washing your hands thoroughly and often is the best method of prevention.
Common infectious diseases include:
The symptoms of an infectious disease depend on its cause and which organs it’s affecting. However, some symptoms are common in many infectious diseases, including:
If you’re experiencing these symptoms — especially after being bitten by an insect or animal, eating contaminated food, or being exposed to someone with an infectious disease — it’s a good idea to schedule an infectious disease consult with Dr. Kidd.
When you go in for an infectious disease consult, Dr. Kidd asks you when your symptoms began, if they come and go, and how severe they are.
He also discusses possible ways you might have contracted the disease, such as contact with someone who was sick, insect or animal bites, trips abroad, or sexual encounters.
Dr. Kidd may also recommend lab tests. Your body fluids can often reveal evidence of the particular microbe that's causing your illness. These lab tests might include:
If you suspect you have an infectious disease, or if you’re experiencing symptoms that won’t go away, Dr. Kidd can perform a comprehensive examination and start you on a treatment plan as soon as possible.
Don’t wait for symptoms to worsen: Call the office today or schedule an appointment online.