Pediatric infectious disease is the medical specialty that cares for children with infectious diseases. Pediatric infectious disease specialists diagnose, treat, and prevent children's bacterial, viral, parasitic, and fungal infections. These conditions can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, ranging from mild skin infections to severe lung diseases, such as tuberculosis. Also called pediatric infectious disease physicians, pediatric infectious disease specialists are doctors who complete training in both pediatrics and infectious disease. They work in hospitals, children's hospitals, and in private practice. Conditions which a pediatric infectious disease specialist may treat include:
Pediatric infectious disease specialists diagnose children through a variety of laboratory tests on blood, mucus, or other fluid samples. Samples may be cultured (grown) in the laboratory for further investigation and study. Once a diagnosis is reached, pediatric infectious disease specialists may prescribe treatments such as:
Some pediatric infectious diseases presently have no cure or cannot be diagnosed; in these instances, pediatric infectious disease specialists help patients manage their symptoms. Pediatric infectious disease specialists may collaborate with medical microbiologists, epidemiologists, pathologists, pediatric specialists, pediatricians, family physicians, and other medical professionals.