Infectious Diseases at UPMC

Infectious Diseases
Provider listening to patient's heart with stethoscope

Viruses and bacteria are found everywhere and their existence is actually fundamental for our health, as is the case with the intestinal microbiota, for example. However, there are many microorganisms that are dangerous for humans: they are called "pathogens" and cause infectious diseases.

Pathogens can live for years inside humans without causing symptoms. In these cases, the contagion can spread among people unaware of its presence until the moment when, suddenly, the disease develops.

Symptoms of infections can be non-specific: periodic or occasional fever, transient spots on the skin, nausea, diarrhea, or asthenia (weakness or lack of energy). That is why, not infrequently, people go from one specialist to another, sometimes for years, before they know that they suffer from an infectious disease.

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UPMC provides infectious disease examinations and diagnostic tests at the following facility:

Infectious Disease Examinations and Services at UPMC

An infectious disease examination can be booked when there is a suspicion of an infectious disease – for the evaluation of antibiotic, antifungal or antiviral therapy – but also in the absence of symptoms and for primary prevention purposes. Infectious disease counseling allows the doctor to identify risk factors for various diseases, prescribing the most suitable tests for the individual case.

Blood samples make it possible to detect many infectious diseases early, even when these are asymptomatic. At our Centers you can book blood testing for numerous infectious diseases, including:

  • Toxoplasma gondii.
  • Syphilis, varicella-zoster virus.
  • HIV.
  • Coxsackie virus.
  • Epstein-Barr virus.
  • Parvovirus B19.
  • Virus delle epatiti (HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV).
  • Rubella.
  • Cytomegalovirus.
  • Herpes simplex virus.

Conditions Treated at UPMC

Thanks to advances in science, most infectious diseases are highly treatable. For example, it is possible to satisfactorily treat viral immunodeficiency infections (HIV 1-2), avoiding transmission of the virus to a partner and/or fetus. Even for hepatitis C (HCV) today there is an effective cure, which in many cases is permanent. At UPMC, you can receive care and treatment for infectious diseases, from the most common to the least common. In addition, at ISMETT, we address the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all infections in patients suffering from end-stage organ failure or undergoing solid organ transplantation. Below is a list of some of the diseases treated and monitored at UPMC:

Who Should Contact UPMC?

Every adult, at least once in their life, should undergo an infectious disease examination and screening. In the case of people undergoing organ transplantation or suffering from an autoimmune disease, there is an increased risk of contracting an infectious disease. For these patients, it then becomes necessary to undergo infectious disease examinations before and during the therapies. Only in this way is it possible to detect early, and keep under control, the presence of any potentially pathogenic microorganisms.

Finally, the prevention and proper management of opportunistic infections is a crucial step for all people with end-stage organ failure. In the case of transplantation, in fact, it is necessary to contain the risk of transmission of infections from the organ donor to the recipient, and to be able to diagnose infections with multi-resistant bacteria early, for example, those microorganisms that cannot be eradicated with common antibiotics.

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