An infection happens when an organism enters your body and causes disease. They can be caused by a virus, bacteria or fungi and can be picked up in lots of ways, either from an infected person, contaminated water or an insect bite.
Viral infections are among the most contagious, and include the flu (influenza) and the common cold. Healthy preschool aged children are most at risk and may have up to 12 colds per year.
An abscess is a pocket of pus that can develop anywhere in the body, usually caused by a bacterial infection. Find out more about the symptoms and how it’s treated.
Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by bacteria. It can be triggered by damage to the skin and needs treatment. Discover the symptoms and when to seek help.
Chickenpox, sometimes called varicella, causes an itchy, spotted rash. It’s most common in children. Discover the causes, symptoms and what you can do.
Cold sores are painful blisters on the face caused by a virus. Learn more about the causes, symptoms and what you can do.
The common cold is a viral infection affecting your nose and throat. It affects many of us each year and isn’t usually serious.
Conjunctivitis, sometimes referred to as pink or red eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the lining of the eye. It can be caused by an infection, an allergy or by something that’s irritated the eye.
With information about coronavirus (COVID-19) being updated regularly it’s important to read the very latest information on coronavirus on NHS.UK.
Influenza, more commonly known as flu, is an illness caused by a virus. Flu is caused by a virus that’s spread through the air by coughs or sneeze. There are many different strains of virus which can all cause a flu. Although it’s more commonly spread during the winter months, it can happen at any time of year.
Fungal nail infection (FNI) is a common infection that typically happens under the toenail or fingernail. Learn the symptoms and how it’s treated.
Glandular fever is a viral infection that usually affects teenagers and young adults. Discover the symptoms and what you can do.
Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common viral illness. It causes sores and rashes on the hands, feet and mouths of babies and children. Read on to find about the signs and symptoms as well as treatments.
Croup is a common childhood condition, which causes a barking cough. Find out about the symptoms of croup and when to seek help for your child.
Laryngitis refers to an inflammation of the voice box. Discover the causes, symptoms, how to treat laryngitis and when you should see a doctor.
Measles is an infectious illness that causes a rash and makes you feel generally unwell. It mainly affects children, although it can happen at any age, and is easily prevented through vaccination. Learn about the main signs of measles and what to do if you think you or your child is infected.
We explain the difference between viral and bacterial meningitis, including the main signs and symptoms, how to spot a meningitis rash and when you should seek medical attention.
Oral thrush is a fungal infection of the mouth that’s usually harmless. Find out more about the symptoms and treatment.
Polio is a serious, but preventable, infection, which can spread easily. Fortunately, cases are very rare because of widespread polio vaccination around the world. Here’s everything you need to know about polio.
The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a virus that causes lung infections. It’s very common. Read more about the symptoms and management.
Scarlet fever is an infection that causes a red rash in children. Learn more about the symptoms of scarlet fever and when you should seek help from a doctor
Sepsis is a medical emergency where your body has an extreme response to an infection. It’s sometimes called septicaemia or blood poisoning. Without quick treatment, sepsis can damage organs like the heart, lungs, brain and kidneys, which can be fatal. If you or someone else is showing signs of sepsis, go to A&E immediately, or call 999 or 112 and ask for an ambulance
Shingles is an infectious disease caused by the same virus as chickenpox – varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Shingles is very common, but the frequency and severity of the disease increases with age.
A stye is a lump, usually on the eyelid, and it’s often caused by an infection. It’s benign and can resolve on its own within 1 to 2 weeks. Discover how you can help reduce its size and help with symptoms.
Tapeworm is an infection of a worm, usually in the intestines. It’s caused by eating undercooked meat or having poor hygiene. Learn about the symptoms and treatments.
Threadworms are very common small worms that cause itching around the anus. Good hygiene can help break the cycle of infection, but having an infection doesn’t mean you have bad hygiene. Read more about threadworms and how they’re treated.
Tonsillitis is an infection, commonly caused by a virus, that affects the tonsils in your throat. It can also be caused by a bacterial infection, like strep throat.
Whooping cough is a bacterial infection that affects your lungs and connected breathing tubes – including your throat, windpipe and bronchial tubes. Read on to find out the key symptoms and how it is treated.