Infectious Diseases

About Infectious Diseases

About Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, including bacteria. We normally have some of these organisms that live in or on our bodies. Usually they are harmless or even helpful, however they sometimes can cause infections. These infections can be spread from one person to another, either directly or indirectly. They can also be spread by contaminated food, water, or other environmental sources.1

Signs and symptoms vary depending on the organism causing the infection but the most common can include:1




Muscle Aches


Infections are diagnosed by blood, urine, or stool tests or throat swabs. Other tests could include Xray or MRIs, as well as biopsies.1

Treatment Options

Treatment Options

Infectious diseases caused by bacteria are typically treated with antibiotics. These can be given orally, intramuscularly, or intravenously. Mild infections may respond to rest and home remedies, while some life-threatening infections may require hospitalization.2

IV antibiotics are usually given in a hospital setting but can be given safely in an outpatient clinic or at home. There has been an increase in the use of IV antibiotics in the home setting.3

Benefits of home based infusion of antibiotics include avoiding hospital admissions, reduced length of stay in the hospital, less healthcare associated infections, and the ability to return to work faster and to resume daily activities of living, like caring for children or dependents.4  Patients and their healthcare providers should discuss the best options for IV antibiotic administration.


  1. Mayo Clinic. Infectious diseases. Accessed 17 July 2019.
  2. Antibiotics. Accessed 23 May 2019.
  3. Grennan et al. Home Intravenous Antibiotic Therapy. JAMA 2019;322(1):90.
  4. Levine et al. Hospital-Level Care at Home for Acutely Ill Adults: a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of General Internal Medicine 33, 729-736 (2018).