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Common illnesses

A lot of everyday illnesses like colds, coughs, flu, earache and sore throats don’t need an antibiotic. Learn how to look after yourself and your family when you’re sick or have a high temperature. Find out what treatments are available besides antibiotics.

HSE services and information

Sore throat

Find out the symptoms and causes of a sore throat and how to relieve it.


Colds can’t be treated with antibiotics. Find out the differences between a cold and the Flu.


Most coughs don’t need an antibiotic. Find out the symptoms, causes and treatment of coughs.


Most flu can be treated at home. Antibiotics don’t work on flu. Find out where to get the flu vaccine.


Find out the symptoms of earache in children. Antibiotics are no good for ear infections caused by viruses.

Diarrhoea and vomiting

Find out how to treat diarrhoea and vomiting in children and adults.


Find out the symptoms, treatments and causes of rash in children and adults.

High temperature

In children, a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or above is high. Find out what it means and how to treat it.

Fever in adults

A high temperature or fever, for most people usually means you have an infection such as a cold. But it can also be due to more serious infections, such as Coronavirus.


Children and the elderly are more at risk of dehydration. If you have symptoms of flu or coronavirus you may be more likely to suffer from dehydration.

Sinusitis (sinus infection)

Sinusitis is common after a cold or the flu. Find out the symptoms and how you can treat it yourself.