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Book and Media Reviews
January 6, 2010

Infections of Leisure

JAMA. 2010;303(1):77-78. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1948

Part of the allure of being an infectious diseases physician is the opportunity to investigate causes of illness that stem from an interaction between a pathogen and a host. Importantly, this interaction between host and pathogen does not occur in a vacuum. The host's specific behaviors (eg, hobbies, profession, diet) play a major role in determining which pathogens are given opportunity to infect the host. When unusual microorganisms are found culpable for an illness, an infectious diseases physician is often consulted to ascertain the exposure, the potential for contagion, and the treatment modalities and then to provide a prognosis.