Infections and Contagious Diseases

Emerging Infectious Diseases

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, emerging infectious diseases include outbreaks of previously unknown diseases and known diseases that are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range in the last two decades. Learn more about emerging infectious diseases ›

Flesh-eating Bacteria Infections

A necrotizing soft tissue infection is a serious, life-threatening condition that requires immediate treatment to keep it from destroying skin, muscle, and other soft tissues. The most dangerous type of these infections is commonly known as "flesh-eating disease," and if untreated, it can cause death in a matter of hours.

Learn more about flesh-eating bacteria

Surgical Site Infections

Your skin is a natural barrier against infection, so any surgery that causes a break in the skin can lead to a postoperative infection. Doctors call these infections surgical site infections (SSIs) because they occur on the part of the body where the surgery took place.

Read more about surgical site infections

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infectious diseases transmitted through sexual contact. The CDC estimates that 19 million new cases occur annually in the U.S. Fifty percent of the new infections occur in people between the age range of 15 to 24 years.

Learn more about STD's


Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or chemical irritants. It is a serious infection or inflammation in which the air sacs fill with pus and other liquid.

Learn more about Pneumonia

Bone infections

Osteomyelitis is the medical term for a bone infection. Bone infections are caused when a break in the skin allows germs, usually bacteria, to spread into bone tissue. Bacteria can also spread from infections in other parts of the body by traveling through the blood to infect a bone.

Learn more about bone infections

MRSA Infections on the Rise

Bacteria are everywhere, even on our skin--and most exist without causing any health problems. Staphylococcus aureus--or staph--is one of those common skin bacteria. Staph and other bacteria become a problem when they cause infection. An infection can develop when the bacteria enter a scratch, cut, or other wound.

MRSA Risk Growing Outside of the Hospital

Prevention of Infection and Contagious Diseases

It seems like such a simple task. But hand washing is a science and surveys show that too many people didn't wash -- or did so haphazardly -- even after obvious tasks such as changing a diaper or using a rest room. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all food-related illnesses are caused by unwashed or poorly washed hands. How Hand Washing Prevents the Spread of Infection ›

Prepare for Your Appointment

With just 13 minutes on average to meet with your doctor, pre-visit planning is important to your overall care experience. Get better results by following the ABCs of doctor visits: Arrive early. Be prepared. Communicate. Your doctor appreciates the active role you are taking in your health. Search HealthGrades for Top Rated Local Family Practitioners ›

Decision Guides for Symptoms of Infection

The term "swollen glands" is often equated with enlarged lymph nodes. However, lymph nodes are not actually glands. They are small bundles of white blood cells. One of the ways the body's immune system responds to infections and inflammation is to greatly increase the number of white cells in the lymph nodes causing them to swell. Most often swollen lymph nodes are caused by an infection or some other benign condition. Less commonly, lymph nodes enlarge related to cancer. This guide will help you understand the most common reasons for swollen glands. Evaluate Your Swollen Glands ›

Immunizations and Vaccinations

Although children receive the majority of the vaccinations, adults also need to stay up-to-date on certain vaccinations, including tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, zoster, human papillomavirus (HPV) in females, pneumococcal (polysaccharide), hepatitis A and B, flu, and meningococcal. Immunizations are important for adults as well as for children. Here's why: Adults who have never received childhood vaccinations can experience serious complications from these diseases as an adult. Vaccines contain dead or weakened germs that trigger the immune system to respond and build immunity. Ask your doctor which of the following shots you may need. Ask your doctor which of the following shots you may need ›

Your Guide to Infections and Contagious Diseases

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