Infectious Disease Testing at UPMC Susquehanna
If you are showing symptoms of an infectious disease, testing and diagnosis are critical to determining effective treatment, and to preventing any further spread of the infection. Your doctor will perform the necessary testing to make a diagnosis, or refer you to an infectious disease specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
Infectious conditions we can diagnose include:
- Lyme disease
- Zika virus
- Parasitic infections
- West Nile virus
- Bone and joint infections
- Central nervous system infections
- Fever of undetermined origin
- Foodborne illness
- Foot infections
- Fungal infections
- Gram-negative bacterial infections
- Nosocomial infections
- Sepsis and septic shock
- Urinary tract infections
- Viral diseases
Why Infectious Disease Testing Is Performed
If you have an infectious disease, it is important to have a diagnosis as soon as possible in order to keep from spreading the disease to other people and start effective treatment as soon as possible.
What to Expect
The type of testing for infectious diseases depends on the infection and the part of the body that is affected. For example, your doctor may take sample or swabs from your:
- Genital discharge
- Wounds or skin ulcers
- Spinal fluid
These samples will be sent to a laboratory to be checked for bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites or other signs of infection. The laboratory will also test the identified organism for sensitivity to the most commonly prescribed antimicrobial treatments.
In addition to these tests, your doctor may also send you for additional exams, such as:
- Computed tomography scan (CT scan)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- In some situations, you might also need a biopsy. For a biopsy, your doctor takes a small piece of tissue to send to the lab for testing. The biopsy could be from an organ, like your liver, lungs or skin.
Recovery from an Infectious Disease
With the exception of a biopsy, there is generally nothing to do after testing. If you do have a biopsy, your doctor will explain what to watch out for, such as bleeding at the site where the biopsy was performed.
Testing and diagnosis of infectious diseases are important tools to keep you and our community as healthy as possible. Prompt and accurate diagnosis allows for quick treatment and prevents the spreading of infection.
At UPMC Susquehanna, we offer comprehensive testing services for infectious diseases, providing healing and recovery for patients of all ages in central PA.