Infectious Diseases

Most of the time, a child's immune system is able to do the work to rid the body of an infection. However, sometimes treatment with an antibiotic is needed. When things are more complicated or when infection is not responding to initial treatment, they will need to see a pediatric infectious diseases specialist.

An infection is caused when a virus, bacteria, fungus or parasite enters the body. Prions can also – but rarely do – cause infections. Infections can range from the common cold to more uncommon illnesses such as tuberculosis or malaria. These agents typically get into the body from the outside, often from other people, insects, animals or contaminated food, water or soil. Some infections also arise from bacteria that are already on or in the body.

Our Infectious Diseases team has a wide range of experience diagnosing and treating many common and rare infectious diseases, including in children who develop an infection as a complication from other diseases. These infections may develop in the setting of cancer treatments, bone marrow transplantation, organ transplantation, certain heart conditions, immune disorders and many pediatric diseases.

Inpatient Care

Our team provides 24/7 support to all of the inpatient (in the hospital) programs at Phoenix Children’s. We have physicians on service weekdays and weekends who can collaborate with pediatricians and other subspecialists in the inpatient management of infectious diseases and in the evaluation of suspected infectious diseases. This collaborative care ranges from the initial diagnosis and treatment of an infection as an inpatient and then on to the guidance for ongoing care as an outpatient (outside the hospital), if such is needed.

We work closely with your child’s care team and with you to create a plan that meets the unique needs of your child – a plan that helps them recover quickly and that doesn’t interfere with other treatments they may need.

Valley Fever Clinic

Phoenix Children’s is home to the largest pediatric outpatient clinic in the country that is dedicated to diagnosing, treating and managing Valley Fever. This common infection is caused by a fungus that is native to the soil throughout the Sonoran Desert, including right here in Phoenix.

This clinic is run with specialists from the pediatric infectious diseases division and a pediatric pulmonologist with extensive experience in the management of Valley Fever. Patients can be referred by their primary provider to this clinic by contacting the pediatric Pulmonology team.