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Our understanding of infectious diseases has increased exponentially over the past few decades. We have new diagnostic tests, new diseases, and new pathogens. We also have the recognition of new syndromes caused by well-known pathogens and the resurgence of "old" diseases, once thought conquered. Consequently, the amount of knowledge required to manage even common childhood infections is mind boggling. This book was written in order to provide the generalist pediatrician, both office- and hospital-based, a practical, reliable, and evidence-based resource to diagnose and treat commonly encountered pediatric infections.

The book is divided into four parts. The first part addresses practical aspects such as basics of the clinical microbiology and virology laboratories, vaccine safety, infection control and prevention, and important concepts in infectious diseases epidemiology. The second part covers common signs and symptoms where infections are often part of the differential diagnosis. The third part reviews infections by anatomic site. The fourth part discusses special situations that fall outside the scope of organ systems such as perinatally acquired infections and the care of children with human immunodeficiency virus infection. This last section also includes topics such as infections in children with atopic dermatitis and infections in internationally adopted children that sometimes fall outside the scope of textbooks aimed at the pediatric generalist.

The challenge in organizing this book was to ensure that chapters were sufficiently detailed and thoroughly referenced while adhering to our philosophy of providing practical management strategies. The authors, despite the many demands on their time, succeeded in reaching this objective in a timely manner. I hope this book will serve as a daily infectious diseases reference to the practicing pediatrician.

Samir S. Shah
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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