- a chesty cough– you might cough up clear, green or yellow mucus
- wheezing and feeling short of breath
- chest pain
- high temperature (fever)
- aching muscles
Coughing actually helps you clear the infection by getting rid of the phlegm (mucus) from your lungs.
Antibiotics won’t help a chest infection caused by a virus like flu or viral bronchitis. They’ll only help a bacterial chest infection.
- get plenty of rest
- drink lots of water to loosen the mucus and make it easier to cough up
- use an air humidifier or inhale steam from a bowl of hot water (adults only)
- raise your head up while sleeping using extra pillows to make breathing easier and clear your chest of mucus
- use painkillers to bring down a fever and ease headaches and muscle pain
Seek medical advice if:
- you feel very unwell or your symptoms get worse
- you cough up blood or blood-stained mucus
- you’ve had a cough for more than 3 weeks
- you have another health condition, like diabetes, or heart, lung or kidney disease, or if you drink alcohol heavily
- you’re over 65
- you have a weak immune system
Get more detailed advice
Could it be coronavirus?
If you have any of the following symptoms, however mild, you need to do a PCR test as soon as possible to make sure it isn’t Covid-19;
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
Self-isolate until you get your test result and only leave your home to have a test.
Get advice about coronavirus symptoms and what to do