HAMPSHIRE residents are being urged to "do their bit" to keep antibiotics working.

As the weather gets colder, we may be more susceptible to colds and other bugs going around.

Despite this, patients are being asked to not request their GP to supply antibiotics when suffering with a virus such as the flu or colds.

Cold and flu viruses and stomach viruses such as norovirus can’t be treated with antibiotics - they usually get better with rest, fluids and over-the-counter remedies.

The local NHS is working together to help tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance, and is supporting the national “Keep Antibiotics Working” campaign this month to remind people that we need to save antibiotics for when they are really needed.

World Antibiotics Awareness Week is also being held from November 18-24.

Antibiotics are essential to treat bacterial infections, but taking them when they are not needed encourages harmful bacteria that live inside us to become resistant.

This means that antibiotics may not work when we really need them.

Derek Sandeman, chief medical officer for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System, said: “As certain bacteria become increasingly resistant to antibiotics, antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections become less effective.

“This can have serious health implications for the person with the infection as well as their family and others who may become infected as a result.”

Prevent infections and stop them spreading by checking you and your family have had all your immunisations, washing your hands regularly with soap and water, and catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue and binning it.

Only taking antibiotics when you need them, when advised by your GP

Always take the full course of any antibiotics you are prescribed and never share them with others.