Chlamydia still remains Ireland's most dominant STD
Chlamydia is the most commonly notified sexually transmitted disease in Ireland.
There were 7,408 notifications of chlamydia in 2017 which was an 8pc increase in the number compared to 2016.
The notification rate increased 6pc among males and 11pc among females.
Young people were mostly affected by chlamydia in 2017, with over half of the cases reported among those aged 15-24 years.
Although chlamydia doesn't usually cause any symptoms and can normally be treated with a short course of antibiotics, it can be serious if it's not treated early on.
If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and lead to long-term health problems such as; pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), epididymo-orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) and infertility. It can also sometimes cause reactive arthritis.
Testing for chlamydia is done with a urine test or a swab test.
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics.
A patient may be given some tablets to take all in one day, or a longer course of capsules to take for a week.
Most people with chlamydia don't notice any symptoms and don't know they have it.
'Don't bother with antibacterial soaps, plain soap is fine for kids'
Parents have been told that plain soap is fine to use for children washing their hands to help prevent infection spreading.
Prof Martin Cormican, HSE national lead for infection control says: "Don't bother with soaps that have antibacterial agents, plain soap is fine. Antibacterial soaps might play a part in making antibiotic resistance more common."
When children get home from play it is important to help them wash their hands. They should wash their hands too when they are out and about; when they use the toilet; and before they eat.
"Make sure that your child has easy access to a sink in the home. If they are too small to reach the sink on their own, then you might try a small stepping stool which will give them the independence to wash their hands on their own," he adds.
Health & Living