Children's Hospital Colorado

Infectious Diseases

What is an infectious disease?

Infectious diseases can range from common illnesses, such as the cold, to serious illnesses, such as meningitis or AIDS. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an infectious disease is caused by one or more of the following: 

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria  
  • Parasites 
  • Fungi  

What causes infectious diseases?

Depending on the disease-causing organism, an infection can spread in some or all of the following ways: 

  • Airborne transmission - transmission of an infection through inhaling airborne droplets of the disease, which may exist in the air as a result of a cough or sneeze from an infected person
  • Blood-borne transmission - transmission of an infection through contact with infected blood, such as when sharing hypodermic needles
  • Direct skin contact - transmission of an infection through contact with the skin of an infected person
  • Insect-borne transmission - transmission of an infection through insects such as mosquitoes that draw blood from an infected person and then bite a healthy person
  • Food-borne transmission - transmission of an infection through consuming contaminated food 
  • Water-borne transmission - transmission of an infection through contact with contaminated water
  • Sexual transmission - transmission of an infection through sexual contact, including intercourse 

Helpful resources

Children's Hospital Colorado has many publications, all developed with the intention of spreading the word from our pediatric specialists, patients and supporters. 

Bug Watch 
Bug Watch is a passive surveillance system provided as a service to the medical community by Children's Hospital Colorado’s Epidemiology Department and Microbiology/Virology Laboratory. It displays the number of selected microorganisms detected by our laboratory in hospitalized and outpatient children throughout Children's Hospital Colorado system during the indicated weeks.

Keeping Kids Healthy and Immunized 

 

  • Germ Proof Your Kids: The Complete Guide to Protecting (without Overprotecting) Your Kids
    Children’s own Dr. Harley Rotbart, vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics, authored a book about keeping kids healthy.  from Infections (2000), by Harley Rotbart, MD, is published by ASM Press.

How do doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?

Our infectious disease specialists work closely with referring doctors to diagnose and treat conditions.

Typically patients are referred by their primary care doctors or pediatricians. To help diagnose your child’s symptoms, our specialists may need to conduct routine tests, such as blood samples.

How do antibiotics work against infections?

Antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial infections. It is important that antibiotics are taken properly and for the duration of the prescription.

Antibiotics are ineffective in treating virus-related illnesses.

Overuse or misuse of antibiotics can lead to drug-resistant bacteria.

Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado to treat your child’s infectious disease?

At Children's Hospital Colorado, we employ the latest techniques that improve healthcare inside the hospital and in pediatric practices in the Rocky Mountain region. We have developed specialized programs to decrease the spread of infections.

Our faculty has training and expertise in pediatrics, epidemiology, clinical trials, molecular biology, biostatistics and behavioral sciences. Our experts study the causes and prevention of childhood diseases in hopes of improving therapies and increasing cure rates, as well as minimizing negative, late effects of treatments. Our faculty has training and expertise in epidemiology, clinical trials, molecular biology, biostatistics, pediatrics and behavioral sciences. They are taking the lead nationally in facilitating many studies on childhood diseases.

The pediatric Infectious Disease experts at Children's Hospital Colorado are an integral part of treating many conditions we see in various departments across the hospital.  Our experts study the causes and prevention of childhood diseases in hopes of improving therapies and increasing cure rates, as well as minimizing negative, late effects of treatments.


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