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What Are the Different Infectious Disease Jobs?

Vaccines can help prevent many infectious diseases.
Each flu season, infectious disease researchers determine which flu strains are likely to be the most prevalent.
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  • Written By: Erin Oxendine
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 August 2014
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Infectious diseases can result in pandemic illnesses and deaths. Infectious disease jobs are necessary in order to stop the spread of diseases. Doctors and researchers perform these jobs by treating infections, creating vaccines and researching cures.

An infectious disease physician is one of the many infectious disease jobs. This specialist’s primary tasks are diagnosing and treating people for illnesses caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. The physician's tasks include reviewing the patient’s medical history and evaluating the symptoms. Specialists also prescribe medication and analyze blood tests, x-rays and other laboratory reports. Infectious disease physicians collaborate with hospitals, urgent care clinics, and other facilities in order to get information on individuals diagnosed with an infectious disease.

Many doctors choose to go into a career as a public health specialist for infectious diseases. These infectious disease jobs allow the doctor to help control and prevent the spread of contagious diseases. Doctors go to local, state and jurisdictional health departments and provide preventative strategies for widespread illnesses. Some public health specialists work with global disease prevention organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) to monitor diseases and keep track of infected people.

One of the different infectious disease jobs is that of an infectious disease research scientist. These researchers use the latest technology to research and analyze viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. Scientists also conduct experiments for new vaccines and develop additional screenings for illnesses.

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An infectious disease pathologist has another role in infectious disease jobs. The pathologist is responsible for studying the pathogens in infectious diseases and microbial infections. This individual analyzes cell cultures to diagnose the disease. He or she alerts disease control organizations, makes them aware of new diseases and advises them when a particular virus such as influenza develops a new strain.

Many people choose to work as a professor when deciding on one of the many infectious disease jobs. Professors in this field typically teach microbiology, immunology and medicine. Part of the professor’s job is helping pupils with scientific applications and laboratory experiments. In addition to teaching, professors attend conferences and board meetings.

People who are considering a career in any type of infectious disease jobs should have an advanced degree in medicine, preferably internal medicine, or another related area. The individual should also have experience performing research and be able to use a variety of laboratory equipment. In particular, these jobs also require training in infectious diseases including clinical care and patient management.

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