The Care New England Infection Prevention and Control Departments promote patient safety by implementing nationally recognized best practices to prevent and control infection and by educating patients, families, staff, and the community. From diagnosing your condition to using the latest treatment techniques, you can count on our expert team to help restore your health so you can get back to the life you love.
Our infectious disease specialists provide prevention and treatment of diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, including tick-borne diseases, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, skin infections, fungal infections, infections related to cancer, and immune deficiencies, and more.
Infectious diseases come in many forms. They can be spread through direct and indirect contact with humans and animals, as well as through contaminated foods and insects.
Vaccinations, good hygiene, and practicing proper food handling are the best defenses against infections, but they are unavoidable at times and part of our lives.
Some infectious diseases aren’t contagious, while others can be easily transmitted. Understanding what caused the infection helps doctors treat your symptoms and points to the necessary measures to keep the infection from spreading to other people.
Everyone has germs in their bodies called bacteria and viruses. Viruses usually cause sickness, while there are both “good” and “bad” bacteria. Certain bacteria are normally found inside your body and help in normal bodily processes.
A virus is a microscopic organism that attacks the cells of a living organism and can live inside a host as well as on surfaces. Many are dangerous and can cause minor to severe disease and illness. A virus commonly can be spread from droplets that are sprayed through coughing or sneezing or can be airborne.
Bacteria are single-cell organisms that can live anywhere and on any surface. They can be located inside and outside of the body. Some are beneficial to everyday life, while others can be extremely harmful. Many of these microbial agents are found in parts of the body like the gut and help break down the contents, while others can cause severe infection, both on the inside and on the surface of the body.
Antibiotics are drugs that kill bacteria germs and can only treat sickness that is caused by bacteria. This includes strep throat, urinary tract infections (UTI), skin infections, and many others.
Antibiotics don’t work on illnesses caused by viruses. This includes most flu and common cold symptoms, such as sore throats, sinus infections, chest colds, and bronchitis.
Taking an antibiotic when you don’t need it can also make your body resistant to antibiotics – meaning the next time you really need antibiotics to fight a bacterial infection, they may not work as well to cure you.
Women & Infants Hospital offers one of the nation’s only Women's Infectious Diseases Consult Services, a collaborative service of the hospital’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Medicine,
as well as the Integrated Program for High-Risk Pregnancy.
Both Inpatient and Outpatient services are provided in conditions related to obstetrics and gynecology and their respective subspecialties. These include pregnancy and gynecologic infections, and general infectious diseases in women.
The clinical pharmacy team at the Care New England Pharmacy will work with you and your provider to find the right treatment and medication. They will provide assistance in finding and implementing medications that work with your lifestyle, evaluation of potential drug interactions, and assistance in resolving other medication-related problems or challenges.
It is important to see a physician regularly, including after a serious infection. A Primary Care Physician is vital to assist patients in helping to monitor the progress of your health but to also help in a patient’s journey to long-term health maintenance. We are dedicated to providing you with convenient, compassionate, and comprehensive health care. Our providers are experienced with both preventive care to keep you healthy, as well as the treatment of acute illnesses and chronic medical diseases. We also focus on patient education and collaboration to create treatment plans that our patients understand and feel comfortable with.
A pocket of puss resulting from inflammation due to an infected area of the body, which can be drained or treated with antibiotics.
C. diff is one of the most common infections and is an increasingly frequent cause of death among older adults. C. difficile colonizes the human intestinal tract after the normal gut flora has been disrupted and can be the cause of antibiotic-associated colitis.
MRSA is caused by a type of staph bacteria that becomes resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staphylococcus infections. It causes painful skin lesions that can also fill with puss and become an abscess, and it can be spread from skin-to-skin contact or from indirect contact. It is very contagious.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) – A respiratory coronavirus that spreads quickly from person to person and has been the subject of recent outbreaks and epidemics. It is characterized by fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath, and can lead to pneumonia.
Some may include bacterial pneumonia, urinary infections, fungal infections, and viruses such as cytomegalovirus.
The coronavirus COVID-19 has been introduced into our lives, and it is important to understand the disease and how to spreads. Our hospitals and facilities have implemented safety measures in order to minimize the potential of exposure. These include patient visitation restrictions, holding vaccination clinics, requiring face masks of all individuals, and partnering in the Safer Together program to support enhanced cleaning.
Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that occurs worldwide and is characterized by fever, cough, fatigue, and conjunctivitis, as well as a rash. Following exposure, the majority of those susceptible will develop measles. Vaccines are available, and it is common and standard practice to vaccinate children in many countries.
Infectious mononucleosis is characterized by fever, tonsillar pharyngitis, and swollen lymph nodes and results in extreme fatigue. It is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and is spread through bodily fluids, such as saliva.
Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness that is largely preventable through vaccination. Typically, it begins with a few days of fever, headache, myalgia, fatigue, and lack of appetite, followed by swelling of the saliva glands between the ears and jaw.
Bacterial infection caused by a tick bite and can result in fevers, chills, headache, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, muscle aches, joint pain, or even rashes or discolored skin at the site of the bite. It can also result in vascular injury and clotting, as well as pneumonitis, encephalitis, and myocarditis, and it is treated with antibiotics.
These diseases can also be contracted by sharing needles. Common types include chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, human papillomavirus (HPV), lice, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.
Staphylococcus aureus bacteria usually cause skin infections and result in rashes, sores, and boils and are associated with other skin infections such as cellulitis and impetigo. It can also be a common cause of food poisoning that results in vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and dehydration. The bacteria can also cause more severe complications, including toxic shock syndrome from the toxins that some strains contain, septic arthritis, as well as bone and joint pain, abscesses, endocarditis, and lung conditions after entering the bloodstream.
These may include food or water-borne pathogens, hepatitis, malaria, dengue fever, parasites, typhoid fever, yellow fever, tuberculosis, or Zika virus.
The most common form of hepatitis, the virus causes inflammation in the liver and can damage the organ. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, joint pain, loss of appetite, dark-colored urine, light-colored stool, and jaundice of the skin.