An infection is defined as an illness caused by one or more foreign or latent organisms, such as a virus, a fungus, or a bacteria. Parasites can also cause infections too.

Infections can affect just about any part of the body, and cause a range of symptoms. If or how it is treated will depend on the nature of the infection.

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  • Antifungals

    Antifungals are available in a number of forms, including topical creams, tablets, oral suspensions, sprays and powders.

  • Antimalarials

    Preventative measures are a very effective treatment for malaria, and taking antimalarials are 90% effective at stopping the infection in the first place. 

  • Antiprotozoals

    Antiprotozoals are typically used to treat malaria, but they may also be used to treat trichomoniasis and giardiasis.

  • Antivirals

    Antivirals can be used to help manage symptoms of various viral infections, including bronchitis, tonsillitis and influenza.

  • Athlete's Foot

    Athlete's foot is caused by a type of fungal infection, called Tinea pedis. It can be treated with anti fungal creams.

  • Blepharitis

    Blepharitis is caused by inflammation of the eyelids. It can affect either the front or the back of the eyelids and it's a chronic condition that can recur numerous times. 

  • Bronchitis

    Bronchitis is caused by an infection of the airways that lead to the lungs. It's typically triggered by a viral infection, and tends to last for around three weeks. It's extremely prevalent and acute cases are unlikely to produce complications. 

  • Cold Sores

    Cold sores are oral blisters which are caused by the herpes simplex virus. They can be treated with Zovirax.

    1. Viral infection which causes oral blisters
    2. Acting fast can help to reduce severity of symptoms
    3. Get access to effective treatment online
  • Conjunctivitis

    Conjunctivitis is a condition characterised by the inflammation of the conjunctiva in the eye, and can be caused by an allergy, or a bacterial infection.

    If you think you might have symptoms of conjunctivitis, we recommend you see your doctor in person.

  • Cough

    A cough is very common and not usually indicative of something serious. However, a persistent cough may point towards an underlying condition. 

  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

    Covid-19 is a respiratory illness caused by coronavirus. Common symptoms tend to be a persistent dry cough and fever, but it can develop into more problems in some cases.

  • Cystitis (UTI)

    Cystitis is a condition which affects the bladder. It occurs when the urinary system becomes inflamed due to infection, typically by certain bacteria which can be carried in urine.

  • Diverticular disease and diverticulitis

    Diverticular disease is when diverticula (small pockets found in the large colon) become infected. A lack of fibre in the diet is understood to be a trigger for the condition, and someone may pass small, pellet-like stools. 

  • Ear Infections

    Ear infections are often caused by bacteria, but they can sometimes be a bi-product of viruses too. Persistent or severe cases may be treated with antibiotic medicine.

    We do not provide medicine for ear infections through our site. If you think you may have an ear infection, speak to your GP.

  • Earache

    Earache is a very common indication of an ear infection, and usually resolves itself within a few days. 

  • Eye Infections

    Eye infections are usually distinguished by red or inflamed eyes. Most cases of bacterial conjunctivitis are caused by the presence of a germ, commonly found in coughs and colds.

    If you think you may have an eye infection, we advise that you see your GP. 

  • Fungal Infections

    Fungal infections can take on a number of forms, and cause a range of symptoms. Those affecting the skin include athlete’s foot and ringworm.

    1. Most often causes a rash
    2. Can cause skin to harden and flake off
    3. Treatable with antifungal drugs
  • Fungal Nail Infections

    Fungal nail infections cause unsightly, thickened and discoloured nails. They are more prevalent in toenails and can sometimes become painful.

    1. Fighting infection can prevent it from spreading
    2. Affect people of all ages
    3. Treatable with prescription antifungal
  • German Measles (Rubella)

    Rubella, also known as german measles, is an infection that can be spread from one person to another by droplets, which stem from sneezing and coughing. Rest and remaining hydrated are recommended in order to allow the body to recover. 

  • Glandular fever

    Glandular fever is a disease triggered by the Epstein-Barr virus, and is spread from one person to the next through saliva. It's isn't however very infectious and and typically resolves of its own accord within 2-3 weeks. 

  • Influenza

    Influenza is a virus which affects most people at some point in their lives. Outbreaks are more common in winter, but they can occur during warmer periods too.

    Flu prevention treatments are not currently available through our site. To find out more about these, or about vaccinations, speak to your GP.

  • Keratitis

    Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea, which may be infectious or non-infectious. It can be extremely painful and typically requires treatment from a specialist. 

  • Laryngitis

    Laryngitis is a condition in which the larynx becomes inflamed. It tends to be triggered by a viral or bacterial infection, and hoarseness, coughing and a sore throat are typical symptoms. Smoking and drinking alcohol can make symptoms worse.  

  • Lupus

    Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks one or more organs, resulting in inflammation, and sometimes stops the organs from functioning properly . It can be serious, but early diagnosis and good management can prevent it from being life-endangering in most cases.

  • Measles

    Measles causes flu-like symptoms, such as fever, and also a rash. Ibuprofen and paracetamol may be used to help ease the pain that results from the condition. Complications may include chest pain, shortness of breath and coughing up blood. 

  • Meningitis

    Meningitis is when tissue near the brain and spine becomes infected, and may be viral or bacterial in nature. Serious cases can require hospital admission, and bacterial forms of the virus should be treated urgently. 

  • Mycoplasma-Ureaplasma

    Mycoplasma and ureaplasma are bacteria which tend to be sexually transmitted. Infections with these bacteria don't always cause symptoms, but a doctor may recommend treatment in cases where they do.

  • Nose Infections

    Nose infections are initially characterised by pimples inside the nostrils, but more serious instances may lead to boils or even cellulitis. Infections of this type are typically caused by staphylococcus bacteria.

    Treatment for this condition is not available through our site. If you suspect that you may have a nasal infection, speak to your GP.

  • Oral thrush

    Oral thrush is a fungal infection found in the mouth caused by the yeast germ, Candida. Small numbers of the fungus are usually found on the skin and in the mouth. However, certain conditions can cause the Candida to multiply and result in a mouth infection.

    1. Caused by excessive amounts of a fungus
    2. Can be prevented by good oral hygiene
    3. Successfully treated with antifungal medication
  • Pharyngitis

    Pharyngitis is a condition caused by inflammation of the pharynx, and can be either viral or bacterial. It usually resolves itself within two weeks, and antibiotics may be taken if the infection is bacterial and a doctor judges them to be necessary. 

  • Pleurisy

    Pleurisy is inflammation of the pleura, a tissue that surrounds the chest cavity and lungs. It is usually triggered by a viral infection, but can be caused by a bacterial infection too. It is most prevalent among people over the age of 65. 

  • Pneumonia

    Pneumonia is a condition in which lung tissue becomes inflamed. It's triggered by a pathogen, which is inhaled. Symptoms typically include  coughing, breathing difficulties, fever, an elevated heartbeat and pain in the chest. 

  • Puffy eyes

    Puffy eyes do not typically require treatment, but antiviral, antibiotic and 'artificial tear' eye drops may be prescribed for certain infections and allergies. 

  • Ringworm and jock itch

    Ringworm and jock itch are fungal skin infections. They can be treated with topical antifungal medicine.

  • Sinusitis

    Sinusitis is when the sinuses become inflamed, due to a viral respiratory infection. It typically clears up within 12 weeks, but it can become a chronic condition if it persists for longer. Nasal blockage, pressure in the face and a loss of sense of smell are major symptoms. 

  • Slapped Cheek Syndrome

    Slapped cheek syndrome is an infection caused by the parovirus B19. It results in a distinctive rash on the cheeks, and consists of a fever and flu-like symptoms. Symptoms usually resolve themselves within a few weeks, and complications are rare. 

  • STI

    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a common problem in the UK. Around 400,000 new cases of STIs are reported to the NHS every year. We offer treatments to people who have tested positive gonorrhoea, chlamydia, herpes, genital warts, and trichomoniasis (TV), as well as STI test kits. PrEP, used to help prevent HIV transmission in those who are at risk, is also available from our site.

  • Styes

    A stye is a small, red lump that can develop around or inside the eyelid. They may be painful, and are usually treated with a damp cloth to reduce swelling. 

  • Tapeworm

    A tapeworm infection is when a parasitic worm, or its eggs, access the gut, and feed on food that the host consumes. The majority of cases do not cause symptoms, but indicators of the presence of a tapeworm are weight loss, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

  • Tetanus

    Tetanus is a bacterial infection caused by Clostridium tetani (or C. tetani) which is usually found in soil. It can enter the body via a cut or an open wound. Without treatment, it can be potentially life-endangering, but it is very rare in light of routine vaccination being introduced in 1961.

  • Threadworms

    Threadworm infections can be easily picked up and cause uncomfortable itching around the anus.
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  • Tonsillitis

    Tonsillitis is a condition in which the tonsils become inflamed, and is either viral or bacterial. It usually only lasts for three or four days, and rarely results in complications. A sore throat, high temperature, coughing and a headache are typical symptoms. 

  • Urinary pain

    Urinary pain is often caused by a lower urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are often required to treat it, and self-help measures may also be taken. 

  • Vaccines

    Vaccines stimulate an immune response, which enables the body to create antibodies that make it resistant to specific infections. 

  • Whooping Cough

    Whooping cough is a bacterial infection that results in severe bouts of coughing, which typically last for 6-8 weeks, but may persist for up to 3 months. Its name is derived from the 'whoop' sounds which are made during coughing bouts. 

Infections can take on a range of forms, and affect just about any part of the body.

Oral thrush is a fungal infection which occurs in the mouth and throat. It is caused by a type of yeast germ, called Candida. This is typically present in several parts of the body in small numbers. However, under certain conditions, the balance of different fungi can become upset, and the presence of Candida can grow. This is when an infection occurs, causing symptoms such as discomfort and irritation, as well as white lesions along the oral mucosa (the lining inside the mouth).

Nystan, a type of antifungal treatment, is often used to clear up infections of this kind.

Fungal infections can also affect the skin and nails.

There are many different types of viral infection. Influenza is one of the most common; whereas genital warts is an example of an STI caused by a virus.

Cold sores and shingles are also caused by a virus. Herpes zoster is the viral strain responsible for shingles; whereas herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) and, to a lesser extent, herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2) are responsible for cold sores. (HSV-2 is typically more often associated with genital herpes.)

Shingles is a reactivation of the same virus which causes chickenpox. When someone has chickenpox during childhood, the virus remains in the system but goes into a state of dormancy. In certain conditions however, such as when someone has a weakened immune system, the virus can trigger again and lead to shingles. Antiviral medicines are used to help stop the virus from multiplying, and send it back into a dormant state.

Cold sores are characterised by the appearance of blisters or lesions on the lips and mouth. Again, when someone contracts HSV-1 or HSV-2 for the first time, the virus will go into remission after the initial infection period and lie dormant. However, the virus remains in the body, and may reactivate at a later time and lead to a recurrence of symptoms. Antiviral medications such as Zovirax cannot rid the body of the virus completely, but can help to limit it and prevent the escalation of symptoms.

Parasites can also cause infections in various parts of the body. Threadworms can affect the anus; and trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis, which infects the genital tract.

Other types of infections may be bacterial in nature. For example, STIs such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis are caused by different types of bacteria. Bacteria can also be responsible for urinary tract infections, eye infections (bacterial conjunctivitis), ear and nasal infections.

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