Infectious diseases can come in many forms: the flu, hepatitis C, bacterial infections. At Stormont Vail Health, we work as a team to provide the highest quality of care to reduce the length and severity of our patients’ diseases and improve their quality of life.
We specialize in infectious disease treatment. Our sub-specialists are trained to diagnose and treat medical infections and illnesses caused by infections occurring:
- After exposure to an infectious disease or parasite — for example, West Nile virus or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- After an organ transplant or other surgical procedure
- During the treatment of cancer
Our physicians provide care at Stormont Vail Hospital, as well as in outpatient clinics throughout the community. These outpatient clinics allow our infectious disease specialists to meet and evaluate patients referred to them by other physicians.
What is an Infectious Disease?
Infectious diseases are illnesses caused by bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic organisms.
- Bacterial: One-cell organisms that cause illnesses such as urinary tract infections, tuberculosis, and strep throat
- Viral: Organisms that are even smaller than bacteria and can cause many different diseases from the common cold or cold sores to Ebola or HIV/AIDS
- Fungal: These often cause skin diseases such as athlete’s foot or ringworm, or yeast infections. Some types can cause infections in your nervous system or lungs
- Parasitic: Organisms that live in or on your body, and are often transmitted through bug bites or via food or water that has been contaminated with animal feces. Can cause a number of diseases, such as malaria or tapeworm
We also recommend that all patients continue to see a primary care provider. Your infectious disease provider will help you take care of your disease, while your primary care provider will make sure that the rest of your body is staying healthy and strong.
Conditions We Treat
Our infectious disease specialists diagnose and treat many different types of bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections.
The infections we treat most commonly include:
- Infected limbs
- Tick-borne illnesses, such as Lyme disease
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Our Treatments and Services
With so many types of diseases — many of which affect each patient differently — there typically isn’t one standard diagnosis or treatment option. When you come to us with an infectious disease, we’ll develop a treatment plan that’s tailored to address your individual needs.
Some of our most common diagnostic procedures, treatments, and service options include:
BiopsyThis test involves taking a sample of the infected tissue and examining it to get the most accurate diagnosis.
FibroSure (FibroTest)We measure the amount or degree of liver damage in patients with liver disease to determine the stage of the disease. This test is noninvasive, meaning it does not require taking a sample of your liver.
X-raysX-rays take pictures of the inside of your body, allowing us to visualize how an infection is affecting different parts of your body.
Antibiotic TherapyThis can include prescribing oral antibiotics, referring patients to the Infusion Center for antibiotics, or setting up at-home care for long-term antibiotic use.
Wound CareWound care: We can change wound dressings and swab wounded areas. If needed, we can refer you to the Wound Care Clinic.
Travel ImmunizationsTravel immunizations: When traveling to certain foreign countries, many patients require immunizations to make sure they don’t get serious infections that are native to those countries.
We also provide education about avoiding infectious diseases while traveling, recovering from a short-term infection, and living with a chronic infectious disease—such as HIV.
Chronic and Serious Infections
Chronic infections, such as HIV or Hepatitis C can be serious — but we’re here to help you live life to its fullest.
We are dedicated to helping you overcome the challenges that come with these diseases. We will educate you on how to stay as healthy as possible with the disease, recommend and provide treatments to manage symptoms, and monitor your health with lab tests to make sure you’re on the right track.
If you’re having trouble affording medication, we can set you up with a financial advisor to discuss options or point you toward outside resources and organizations that help people with medication costs.
We’re Prepared for Highly Contagious Diseases, Too
We generally treat everyday illnesses and infections, but we are always prepared for managing outbreaks. During the 2014 Ebola crisis, we consulted with Mayo Clinic experts to develop protocols for identifying and treating any possible cases of Ebola.
If a patient develops Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)—a contagious and serious infection that can develop after long hospital stays—we use personal protective equipment, such as gowns, masks and gloves to keep the infection from spreading.
And since we want to keep all of the Topeka community safe and infection-free, our medical director contacts the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if there is an infection that could indicate a potential outbreak.
Meet Our Infectious Disease Specialists
Whether you have a short-term infectious disease or one that is chronic, Stormont Vail’s infectious disease specialists are committed to helping you every step of the way.