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An infection happens when an organism enters your body and causes disease.

Infections are caused by a virus, bacteria or fungi and can be picked up in lots of ways, either from an infected person, contaminated water, or even an insect bite – and new causes of infection like COVID-19 are always emerging.

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.

If you have symptoms of an infection, a doctor can assess whether you need antibiotics or other treatment.


Acute sinusitis
Acute sinusitis is inflammation which causes nasal congestion.
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Chicken pox
Chicken pox , sometimes called ‘varicella’, is very common, mostly in children.
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Cold sores
Cold sores are causes by a virus and can be painful on the face.
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Common cold
The common cold is a viral infection affecting your nose and throat. It affects many of us each year and isn’t usually serious.
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Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection that affects the eye.
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Coronavirus (COVID-19)
With information about coronavirus (COVID-19) being updated regularly it’s important to read the very latest information on coronavirus on NHS.UK.
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Glandular fever
Glandular fever is a viral infection that usually affects teenagers and young adults.
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Laryngitis refers to an inflammation of the voice box.
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Flu (influenza)
Influenza, more commonly known as flu, is an illness caused by a virus that’s spread through the air by coughs or sneeze.
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Meningitis is inflammation of the lining around the brain and the spinal cord. Find out about the main symptoms of meningitis and how to spot a meningitis rash.
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Sepsis is a medical emergency where your body has an extreme response to an infection
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Ear infections
Ear infections can affect the outer ear or the inner ear. Find out more about the symptoms and how it’s treated.
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Sore throat
We all get sore throats from time to time. They aren’t usually serious and often get better on their own within a week.
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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.
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Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by bacteria
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