Whether from bacteria, insects or viruses, infectious diseases can be difficult to diagnose and treat. MultiCare’s infectious disease specialists offer diagnosis and treatment for a variety of infectious diseases.
Our team has extensive training and experience in managing diseases ranging from the coronavirus and the flu to HIV, tuberculosis, antibiotic-resistant infections and other complex conditions. Our doctors work closely with primary care providers and specialists to design treatment plans tailored to meet your unique needs.
An infectious disease specialist is a physician who received formal training in internal medicine or pediatrics and, in addition to their medical school and residency, completed at least two years of additional training in infectious diseases. This additional training allows them to find the cause of diseases and prescribe the most effective forms of treatment.
In many cases, primary care providers, OB-GYNs and other physicians can treat infectious diseases with antibiotics and anti-viral treatments. Infectious disease specialists can step in when those doctors can’t identify what has caused an infection or if an infection has become serious. They can help your physician find the best treatment if an infection isn’t responding to the usual medications and find ways to prevent the infection from coming back.
Infectious disease specialists are also at the forefront of important public health issues, such as antibiotic resistance (when bacteria cannot be killed by medications designed to kill them) and, increasingly, antiviral drug resistance (when viruses change and become resistant to anti-viral medications). When bacteria or viruses no longer respond to traditional medications, they may be hard to kill, or an infection may go away and then come back later much worse.
During treatment, our infectious disease specialists will work with your physician to see if bacterial or viral infections should receive medications or if there are other, more effective ways to get rid of the infections for good.
Our infectious disease experts also research new diseases and infections, such as the coronavirus, so they can help doctors and public health officials respond to health crises.
MultiCare Infectious Disease Specialists are located in Auburn, Puyallup and Tacoma. We also treat children at Mary Bridge Children’s Outpatient Center.
If your provider refers you to an infectious disease specialist, they will review your symptoms with you and discuss your lifestyle and most recent habits, including foods that you have eaten or places you may have traveled. You may have additional tests. Your infectious disease physician will work with you and your primary care or other healthcare providers to develop a personalized treatment plan.