Infectious diseases can be diagnosed in a variety of ways after the initially being seen by your doctor.
During Your Visit
After taking your vitals, some of which include blood pressure, temperature and heart rate, your doctor will discuss your symptoms. Be sure to include all symptoms that seem out of the ordinary to you.
Sometimes, your doctor can diagnose you without further testing if you have an illness with physical symptoms, such as chickenpox or shingles.
Often, a doctor will find something in the first exam that will lead to more tests before your condition can be diagnosed.
If your doctor orders additional testing, it is important to follow through with the instructions as soon as possible. Depending on your symptoms, the tests could vary. Some of the tests used by doctors to diagnose diseases include:
- Blood test – Usually a complete blood count is performed to determine the number of white blood cells, which can indicate an illness. Sometimes a disease can be detected by the type of antibodies in the blood.
- CT Scan – Illnesses of the lungs can sometimes be seen on these scans.
- Lumbar puncture (also called spinal tap) – Illnesses such as meningitis can sometimes be diagnosed by testing cerebral spinal fluid.
- Urinary culture – Some illnesses can be detected when testing the your urine.
- Mucus culture – Whooping Cough and pneumonia are some of the illnesses that may be diagnosed through a sample of your mucus.