Infectious disease specialists deal with many different diseases caused by germs, ranging from the flu to pneumonia. They have expertise in infections of the sinuses, heart, brain, lungs, urinary tract, bowel, bones and pelvic organs. Their extensive training focuses on a wide range of infections, including those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
Along with their specialized knowledge comes a particular insight into the use of antibiotics and their potential adverse effects. Infectious disease specialists also have additional training in immunology (how the body fights infection), epidemiology (how infections spread) and infection control.
Not everyone who has an infectious disease needs an infectious disease specialist. Your general internist can take care of most infections, but sometimes specialized expertise is needed to either diagnose or manage specific infectious diseases.*
*Source: American College of Physicians