Infectious diseases can be contracted through open wounds, inhaling airborne germs, eating/drinking contaminated foods, bites from ticks or mosquitos, or through sexual contact. Infectious diseases and infections may require a special type of intervention outside of your regular physician. You’ll need to make an appointment with an infectious disease specialist and bring your referral slip to the appointment unless your physician makes prior arrangements.

Before your appointment, you will need to make a list of your symptoms and of any medications you are taking. You may even want to bring in the prescription bottles which will describe the dosage you take daily. If your doctor has provided you with any medical records, bring them to the appointment also or check with your doctor’s office to be sure they were transferred.

At the specialist’s office, you will need to fill out medical history paperwork. Try to provide as much detail as you can about your current condition as well as the medical history of your immediate family. This may be important to your diagnosis. The specialist will likely perform a physical exam while going over your medical history. The specialist may also request blood testing, a mouth swab, or a urine test. You’ll need to be able to provide the doctor with information about your history of being around another sick person, if you’ve been bitten by an animal or insect, if you have eaten meat not cooked properly or vegetables/fruit not properly washed. You’ll also be asked about your recent travels.

Infectious diseases can be contracted multiple ways so the more information you can provide, the more accurate the diagnosis and testing can be. Treatment will be dependent upon your condition but may involve prescription medication treatment such as antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and anti-parasitic drugs. Follow up appointments will likely be necessary to monitor the effectiveness of the drugs. You may be required to stay away from others during your recovery so as not to spread the condition. The specialist will work with your doctor on a treatment plan until your condition has been resolved.