Health Information

Infectious Diseases

  • HIV and AIDS

    AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, which kills or impairs cells of the immune system and progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers.

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating condition characterized by profound tiredness, regardless of bed rest.

  • Chickenpox

    Chickenpox is a common childhood disease that causes an itchy, blistering rash and is easily spread to others.

  • Common Cold

    The common cold leads to more health care provider visits and absences from school and work than any other illness each year. It is caused by a virus and is easily spread to others. It’s not caused by cold weather.

  • Common Infectious Diseases

    Detailed information on the most common infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, chickenpox, chronic fatigue syndrome, common cold, diphtheria, E. coli, giardiasis, infectious mononucleosis, influenza (flu), lyme disease, malaria, measles, meningitis, mum

  • Whooping Cough (Pertussis) in Adults

    Detailed information on whooping cough, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention

  • Diphtheria

    Detailed information on diphtheria, including symptoms, transmission, treatment, and prevention

  • Influenza (Flu)

    Influenza, or flu, is a respiratory tract infection that spreads easily. It is caused by a virus.

  • Giardiasis

    Giardiasis is an infection caused by a parasite called Giardia. It causes diarrhea.

  • Handwashing

    At home or work, it's important to wash your hands often—and properly. Read on to learn how.

  • Immune System

    The immune system works to keep germs out of the body and destroy any that get in. It is made up of a complex network of cells and organs.

  • Home Page - Infectious Diseases
  • Malaria

    Malaria is caused by a parasite. It is passed to humans by the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito.

  • Measles

    Detailed information on measles, including symptoms, complications, prevention, and treatment

  • Infectious Mononucleosis

    Infectious mononucleosis is characterized by swollen lymph glands, fever, sore throat, and chronic fatigue.

  • Mumps in Adults

    Detailed information on mumps, including symptoms, diagnosis, complications, and treatment

  • Online Resources - Infectious Diseases

    List of online resources to find additional information on infectious diseases

  • Pets and Infectious Diseases

    Detailed information on pets and infectious diseases

  • Pneumonia

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

  • Polio (Poliomyelitis)

    Poliomyelitis, commonly called polio, is an infectious disease. It is caused by 3 types of poliovirus. Polio is easily spread from person to person. The poliovirus is a virus that causes paralysis. But, most people who are infected with polio have no symptoms and a few have mild symptoms.

  • Prevention of Infectious Diseases

    Detailed information on prevention of infectious diseases

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is an infection caused by the bite of an infected tick.

  • Rubella (German Measles)

    Rubella, sometimes called German measles, is a viral infection. It usually causes a mild illness in children. Adults have a slightly more severe illness.

  • Salmonella Infections

    Salmonella is caused by the bacteria salmonella. Salmonella is a group of bacteria that can cause diarrhea in humans. There are many different kinds of salmonella bacteria.

  • Topic Index - Infectious Diseases

    Detailed information on the most common infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, chickenpox, chronic fatigue syndrome, common cold, diphtheria, E. coli, giardiasis, infectious mononucleosis, influenza (flu), lyme disease, malaria, measles, meningitis, mum

  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    Women suffer more frequent and severe symptoms from STDs. Some STDs can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to both infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

  • Tetanus

    Tetanus is a sometimes fatal disease of the central nervous system. It’s caused by the toxin of the tetanus bacterium. The bacterium usually enters the body through an open wound. Tetanus bacteria live in soil and manure.

  • Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

    Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a cluster of symptoms that involve many systems of the body. Certain bacterial infections release toxins into the blood stream. These then spread the toxins to many body organs. This can cause severe damage and illness.

  • Tuberculosis (TB)

    Tuberculosis, or TB, can be a chronic bacterial infection that usually infects the lungs. Other organs, such as the kidneys, spine, or brain may also be involved.

  • West Nile Virus

    The West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes. The West Nile virus can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses, and some other mammals. West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected female mosquito. 

  • Childhood Immunizations

    Your little one will need several immunization shots to help protect her from several childhood diseases, some of which can be deadly. Knowing which shots she needs, when, and what to do in the event of a minor reaction is important.

  • Meningitis

    Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain. Meningitis can be caused by either a virus or bacteria. Bacterial meningitis may be life-threatening.

  • Shingles

    Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a common infection of the nerves that is caused by a virus. It causes a painful rash or small blisters on an area of skin.

  • Ticks and Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This spiral shaped bacterium is most commonly spread by a tick bite.

  • Viral Hepatitis Overview

    Detailed information on the different types of hepatitis, including viral hepatitis, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C

  • HIV and Dementia

    HIV affects the brain and nervous system and can cause dementia.

  • Preventing Opportunistic Infections in HIV/AIDS

    Opportunistic infections that other people might fight off easily could make you really sick if you have HIV. Getting one or more of these opportunistic infections could mean that your HIV has advanced to AIDS.

  • Pneumocystis Pneumonia or PCP

    Pneumocystis pneumonia or PCP is a fungal infection in one or both lungs. It is common in people who have a weak immune system, such as people who have AIDS.

  • HIV/AIDS and Skin Conditions

    Skin conditions are common in people with HIV/AIDS. Many are caused by germs that take advantage of a weakened immune system.

  • Dealing with Discrimination When You Have HIV

    We've come a long way in our understanding of HIV and AIDS. But there is still discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS.

  • When You’re HIV-Positive: What to Say

    You will need to decide who to tell about your HIV status, and how to tell them. In some cases, you may be required to tell. In other cases it may be best to keep it to yourself.

  • Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infection

    A necrotizing soft tissue infection causes patches of tissue to die. It is a very serious and life-threatening condition requiring immediate medical care.

  • Gangrene

    Gangrene happens when blood flow to tissues is cut off. This causes the tissue to die.

  • Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli

    One Escherichia coli (E. coli) strain that causes a severe intestinal infection in humans is known as enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). It’s the most common strain to cause illness in people. It’s different from other E. coli because it produces a potent toxin called Shiga toxin. This toxin damages the lining of the intestinal wall, causing bloody diarrhea.

  • Ebola

    Ebola is a virus that causes problems with how your blood clots. Here's a look at the disease, from symptoms to treatment and prevention.

  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

    MERS is an illness that affects your respiratory system. Most cases of MERS are mild. But sometimes symptoms can be severe.

  • Traveler Alert: Chikungunya Virus

    Chikungunya is caused by a virus carried by mosquitoes. The disease was first found in Africa and Asia, but recent outbreaks have been in the Caribbean and Central and South America.

  • Bacterial Meningitis

    Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. It is characterized by headache, stiff neck, and high fever.

  • Herpes Meningoencephalitis

    Herpes meningoencephalitis is infection of the brain and the tissue that covers it with the herpes simplex virus.

  • AIDS-Related Malignancies

    People who have AIDS are much more likely to get certain types of cancer than people without the disease.

  • Neurological Complications of HIV

    As HIV and AIDS battle your immune system, your central nervous system is also affected. HIV and AIDS both cause a number of neurological complications, particularly if HIV goes untreated and is allowed to progress to AIDS.

  • Meningococcal Vaccine for Teens

    The meningococcal conjugate vaccine prevents meningococcal infection, which can affect the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

  • Chagas Disease

    Chagas disease is caused by a parasite. It is transmitted to people through the feces of insects. It is common in South and Central America and Mexico.

  • Lymphadenitis

    Lymphadenitis is an infection in one or more lymph nodes. The lymph nodes help filter bacteria, viruses and other unwanted material from the body.

  • Zika: All About the Mosquito-Borne Disease

    Zika is a virus passed on through the bite of a mosquito. It may also be spread through sexual contact and blood transfusions.