Infectious Diseases

Rely on the infectious disease specialists at Essentia Health to prevent, diagnose, and treat conditions caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. Infectious diseases can spread from person to person, animal to person, or via bug bites or food contamination.

What's an Infectious Disease Doctor?

An infectious disease specialist is an internal medicine doctor with specialized training in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infections.

When to Get Care

Your primary care provider can treat mild infections that have the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Low-grade fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness or weakness

Your primary care provider may refer you to a infectious disease specialist if you have more severe symptoms including:

  • Severe headache
  • High fever
  • Rash or swelling
  • Breathing problems
  • Trouble seeing

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.


Infectious Disease Treatments

Your doctor may perform blood tests, urine tests, or imaging scans to diagnose the cause of your symptoms.  Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor may recommend the following treatments:

  • Antibiotics – Medications that treat infections caused by bacteria
  • Antifungals – Drugs you apply to the affected area of your body or swallow to treat a fungal infection
  • Antiparasitics – Medicines that fight parasites that cause infections
  • Antivirals – Drugs that can prevent and treat viruses like HIV/AIDS, herpes, and influenza

How to Prevent Infections

To prevent infections, our infectious disease specialists recommend:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water
  • Getting recommended vaccines
  • Coughing into your elbow or a tissue
  • Not touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cleaning surfaces like door knobs, refrigerator handles, phones, and faucets with a disinfectant
  • Avoiding contact with people you know are sick, if possible


You can prevent some infectious diseases with vaccines. Vaccinations, also called immunizations, help your body’s immune system fight certain illnesses. Talk to your primary care provider about getting vaccinated for influenza (the flu), HPV, and other conditions.

Travel Medicine

Stay healthy while traveling to other countries. Learn more about travel medicine services from Essentia’s infectious disease team.

Antimicrobial Resistance

Learn about antibiotic overuse, resistance and stewardship.

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