Feeling under the weather?
Check out our new website for sensible practical help and advice on common conditions like colds, flu, earaches, sore throats, rashes and tummy bugs.

Today is European Antibiotic Awareness Day and provides a timely opportunity to remind you that antibiotics are a precious resource and are very useful drugs which save lives. However, using antibiotics needlessly allows bugs that cause infections to build up resistance against antibiotics and renders them useless over time.

The HSE has developed a new website, http://www.undertheweather.ie in partnership with GPs and pharmacists which offers straightforward advice on how to get through common illnesses without antibiotics. We all need sound advice to give us the confidence and skill we need to take care of ourselves and our families; http://www.undertheweather.ie aims to give you that advice.

The website gives sensible practical information, developed by health professionals, on a range of common conditions like colds, flu, earaches, sore throats, rashes and tummy bugs. It tells you how long they should last, what to expect, and what you can do to cope with, and recover from, these illnesses. The site includes a series of videos featuring GPs and Pharmacists who offer their expertise on dealing with these common illnesses, practical remedies, and advice on when to seek help from either a pharmacist or a doctor.

Research has shown that a lot of people still believe that antibiotics can help to treat common illnesses, like colds, flu, earaches, tummy bugs and rashes. In fact antibiotics are useless against most of these infections, which are caused by viruses, and antibiotics don’t work on viruses. Learning how to manage common illnesses with confidence and common sense is a great life skill and improves our understanding of when we need antibiotics and when we don’t. It’s something that we learn from our parents, friends, doctors, from our own experience and, more and more, from the internet. Under the Weather has been developed in response to this, to support the public in accessing trusted and reliable health information, developed by the HSE with expert knowledge and advice from GPs and pharmacists.

The website is mobile, tablet and desktop friendly and will be a useful companion to anyone who’s feeling under the weather.

Visit http://www.undertheweather.ie for more. Get advice and get better.

An event is also taking place today in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland to coincide with European Antibiotic Awareness Day. The event is aimed at leaders from medical, vetinary and pharmaceutical professions and they are being urged to take a more critical look before prescribing antibiotics to help deal with the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.