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Infectious Disease

What We Treat

An infection is one of the most common but complex ways of indicating that you are not in optimum health. Some types of infection can be very serious, or chronic, and the underlying cause of hazardous conditions.

Geisinger’s experts are dedicated to providing a multidisciplinary approach to complicated illnesses, such as:

Cellulitis is an infection that develops in the deepest layer of skin. It is caused by bacteria that most likely entered the body through a cut, scratch, or animal or insect bite. Geisinger specialists work to treat the swollen area as well as the infection itself, and take special care with those that are at risk for complications or recurrences.

Diabetic foot infections are infections that occur, especially in the lower limbs, in individuals with diabetes. Those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have problems with circulation, nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) and wounds that won’t heal, inviting infections. Geisinger collaborates closely with wound care specialists to help fight infections that can be very dangerous. Our team administers therapies and helps to monitor the diabetic’s overall condition and other related conditions as well.

Endocarditis is an infection in the heart and most commonly the heart valves. Those at greatest risk are those with pre-existing heart valve problems. Our team uses IV antibiotics to treat this serious condition, which can be life-threatening or create damage to the heart if not carefully monitored.

Treatment for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS has come a long way, but there is no cure for this chronic condition. So prevention is still the best option, beginning with knowing your risk factors. A person with HIV can infect others once the virus has entered his/her bloodstream. Monitoring and treatment for those with HIV and AIDS is ongoing, with Geisinger’s Infectious Disease specialists creating an individualized care plan for each patient. Therapies usually consist of antiviral medications. The therapies are designed to keep the patient’s immune system at healthy or acceptable levels to prevent complications from other infections or cancer.

Lyme Disease is an infection caused by the bite of a tick, which is often carried by deer and more likely to occur if you are in wooded or grassy areas. Lyme disease symptoms often mimic other illnesses, such as swelling of the joints, rash, fever, fatigue and other body aches. It may begin with a rash, sometimes around the bite mark. Patients experience achiness, joint stiffness or soreness, and, in certain cases, neurological difficulties such as meningitis or Bell’s palsy. Diagnosis of lyme disease can be difficult.  Our specialists are careful in the evaluation of lyme disease to ensure the appropriate testing is completed to make the right diagnosis of the illness. Treatment involves antibiotic therapy once a diagnosis is made.

MRSA often occurs in healthcare settings, including hospitals. “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” or MRSA, is also known as a staph infection. It can spread through a community, and can virtually affect all body parts. Geisinger’s infectious disease specialists continually monitor and treat patients with symptoms of staph during outbreaks.

Our entire team of medical professionals is dedicated to the prevention of staph within our hospitals and related health centers, to help prevent the condition among those who are most susceptible.

Osteomyelitis is an infection that develops in the bones, such as the foot and leg bones, arm bones, spine, and pelvis. Often the bacteria that cause the infection enter the bloodstream through a broken bone, or through weakened tissue. The condition can be chronic and have few or no symptoms, or make the patient ill enough to cause hospitalization. Those with circulatory problems, such as people with diabetes, are susceptible to bacteria entering through wounds that won’t heal. Osteomyelitis requires long-term antibiotic therapies and follow-up care to assess bone healing.