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Under the Health and Care Act 2022 (effective from 1st July 2022), the planning, arranging and managing of most local health care has been transferred from clinical commissioning groups to integrated care boards. This website will remain live for several months while archiving takes place, but it will not be updated. You may also be directed back this website temporarily where content has not yet been added to the integrated care board’s website. You will only be redirected to this site where the content remains the most up-to-date and correct version.

Visit for the integrated care board for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Thank you for your patience whist we develop our new site.

Helping the people of Leicester to have long and healthy lives.

Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group

Chest infection

Chest infections are common, especially with a cold or flu.

Mostly, they’re not serious and they get better after a few days or weeks. You won’t normally need to see your GP.


  • a chesty cough– you might cough up clear, green or yellow mucus
  • wheezing and feeling short of breath
  • chest pain
  • high temperature (fever)
  • headache
  • aching muscles
  • tiredness

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