While most family or primary care doctors are able to treat common infections, sometimes serious infections need to be treated by an infectious disease specialist (also called an ID specialist). Infectious disease doctors have expertise diagnosing and treating infections of the sinuses, heart, brain, lungs, urinary tract, bowels, bones and pelvic organs. Because there are so many infectious diseases and they can be hard to diagnose, a primary care physician may refer you to an infectious disease doctor if they are unable to effectively treat your infection.

These specialized physicians can treat infections linked to the following organisms:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Parasites

Symptoms of Infectious Diseases

The majority of people that are affected by infectious diseases exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Muscle aches
  • Fever and chills
  • Persistent headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth or genital ulcers


Infectious disease doctors also specialize in treating patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS.

Common Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are as numerous as they are diverse, ranging in seriousness from the common cold to AIDS.  Commonly known infectious diseases include:

  • Chicken pox
  • Common cold
  • coli
  • Flu
  • Lyme disease
  • Meningitis
  • Mumps
  • Pneumonia
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Tetanus
  • West Nile virus

No matter what condition you have, an infectious disease specialist should be able to find the cause of your condition and administer the correct treatment plan.

Treatment of Infectious Diseases

Some infectious diseases like chicken pox can be prevented with the use of vaccines, though not every infectious disease is preventable. Others, like an E. coli infection, need to run their course over the course of a few days, but will need to be monitored by a physician.

Treatment options will vary depending on the type and severity of infection. Our professional and expertly trained staff at Methodist Healthcare will diagnose and determine the appropriate course of action for treatment. Our hospitals employ some of the most talented infectious disease doctors in San Antonio.