Microorganisms that cause diseases in humans such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, are called pathogenic microorganisms. Diseases caused by these pathogenic microorganisms are generally referred to as infectious diseases. Infectious Diseases is a clinical department specializing in these infectious diseases. This department was newly created at the hospital in April 2019. Currently, one infectious disease specialist is affiliated with the department as a full-time physician, as well as one part-time physician.
What kind of diseases do you treat?
Common infectious diseases include the “common cold” and “influenza”. As these kinds of infectious diseases are frequently seen in internal medicine consultations and are generally common, they are mainly treated by general internists. There are many infectious diseases that are treated by the respective clinical departments such as a physician from Respiratory Medicine for “pneumonia” or a physician from Gastroenterology for “cholecystitis”. However, in the case of more unique infectious diseases, we at Infectious Diseases are called upon. For example, extrapulmonary tuberculosis, syphilis, and travelers’ infectious diseases would fall under this category. The hospital is also able to provide care up to the diagnosis of HIV infection.
(*Patients will be referred to relevant clinical departments at designated hospitals for the various treatments based on the results of the diagnosis)
In addition, the department accepts consultations related to infectious diseases from the respective clinical departments in the hospital, supporting treatment.
Infectious diseases occur anywhere in the human body?
Infectious diseases can occur anywhere in the human body, from the top of the head to the tips of the toes. Therefore Infectious Diseases emphasizes “caring for the entire body as an internist”.
Do you have any work other than patient consultations?
The full-time physician is a qualified infection control doctor (ICD)*, and is also responsible for infectious disease measures. The physician implements hospital measures to address resistant bacteria and also conducts initiatives related to the appropriate use of antibacterial agents.
*Infection control doctor (ICD) at the hospital: Dr. Takayuki Sakurai, Division Director of Infectious Diseases
Infectious disease physicians are often called “doctor’s doctors”, or doctors who provide strong support for physician consultations. The infectious diseases internist supports physicians from the respective clinical departments through in-house consultations in difficult situations such as when selecting antibacterial agents, ensuring that patients profit.
To a Global and Borderless Age
Currently, we are in an age where people travel around the world on airplanes and ships. Accompanying this flow of people and goods are infectious diseases. As Japan is an island nation, we tend to fall into a sense of security, but as globalization progresses, it also opens the door to infectious diseases. It would not be surprising if an infectious disease that occurred somewhere in the world found its way to Japan. Infectious diseases that are brought into the country from overseas are called “imported infectious diseases”, and Infectious Diseases is also responsible for treating these “imported infectious diseases”.
Message for Our Patient
Please bring a referral
The hospital is enhancing collaboration with local hospitals and clinics. Patients are asked to bring a referral from their primary care physician to their consultation. If an extended period of time is required for treatment, the hospital will collaborate with the primary care physician in conducting treatment.