PEOPLE in Worcestershire are being encouraged to take better care of themselves and family members during the winter months when seasonal illnesses increase.

At this time of year, there are an increased number of winter ailments circulating, such as colds and flu.

If people catch one of these, often the best treatment is staying at home, keeping warm and drinking plenty of fluids.

Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen can also reduce your temperature and ease any aches and pains.

Over the counter medicines can help with symptom relief and a pharmacist can offer advice if needed.

It’s also worth remembering that antibiotics don’t work on most winter illnesses like colds and flu as these are viral infections and antibiotics don't work against viruses.

Preventing ill health is important during winter, so people are asked to choose lifestyle options that will impact positively on your physical health, mental wellbeing and self-esteem.

To beat winter blues and keep healthy, people should make sure they eat well, drink only in moderation, stop smoking and stay active.

It’s also important to ensure that, where possible to do all you can to reduce the spread of illnesses such as flu.

This can be achieved by reducing contact with people and staying away from places where there may be people more vulnerable to infection, such as hospitals and GP surgeries.

If you are coughing and sneezing, make sure that you use a tissue and discard the tissue in the bin as soon as possible, then wash your hands with warm soapy water.

Dr Carl Ellson, strategic clinical lead for the three Worcestershire CCGs, said: “It is important that people understand about self care, especially during the winter months, when seasonal illnesses increase.

“Knowing how to take medicines, treat minor ailments and seek help when it is needed is vital to helping people look after their health and wellbeing.”