At UPMC, the primary goal of our infectious disease services is to provide compassionate care to help individuals recover from sickness and maintain optimal health. Our infectious disease physicians use their expertise to prevent and treat heart, brain, lungs, urinary tract, bowels, bones and pelvic organs.
Infectious diseases are disorders caused by organisms — such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Many organisms live in and on our bodies. They're normally harmless or even helpful, but some organisms under certain conditions may cause disease.
Some infectious diseases can be passed from person to person. However, some are transmitted via bites from insects or animals. Others are acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water or other exposures in the environment.
Signs and symptoms vary, but often include fever and chills. Mild symptoms may respond to home remedies, while some life-threatening infections may require hospitalization. Many infectious diseases, such as measles and chickenpox, can be prevented by vaccines. Frequent and thorough hand-washing can protect you from many infectious diseases.
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