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Infectious Disease Services

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Our infectious disease service staff identify and monitor outbreaks of infectious diseases in the community. Working with area physicians and other community partners, staff investigate outbreaks of foodborne illness; locate and refer people who have been potentially exposed to tuberculosis, HIV, or other sexually-transmitted diseases to local services; and, monitor disease outbreaks in the community, such as flu and other respiratory illnesses.

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 under certain conditions, some organisms may cause disease.

Some infectious diseases can be passed from person to person. Some are transmitted by bites from insects or animals. And others are acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water or being exposed to organisms in the environment.

Signs and symptoms vary depending on the organism causing the infection, but often include fever and fatigue. Mild complaints may respond to rest and 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 also helps protect you from infectious diseases.

Most infectious diseases are reportable to the Florida Department of Health by your doctor.