‘No shortage of antibiotics’ as Strep A cases in children soar

Strep A: Antibiotics supply 'not a concern' says Barclay

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GPs have been advised to prescribe antibiotics for children who may have worsening symptoms linked to it.

Strep A can resemble other bacterial conditions and is usually mild, causing a sore throat or skin infections, but it can turn into scarlet fever and then deadly invasive group-A streptococcal infection (iGAS).

The PM said there are a “higher number of cases this year” and some GPs have told of a lack of frontline antibiotics penicillin and amoxicillin.

The National Pharmacy Association said there were supply “blips” while the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies which represents 4,000 outlets said many were struggling to find the drugs needed.

The Prime Minister said: “The NHS are working very hard to make sure parents are aware of the symptoms… because this can be treated appropriately with antibiotics.”

He told MPs: “There are no current shortages of drugs available to treat this.There is no reason to believe that it has become more lethal.”

Meanwhile, stricken Camila Rose Burns was yesterday breathing without a ventilator once again. The four-year-old was hit by a Strep A infection that saw her called the “poorliest girl in the whole of England”.

Camila, from Bolton, fell seriously ill last week and is in intensive care at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital. Her parents Dean and Kaye said: “Being off the ventilator is a massive improvement, but she is still very poorly.”

Reports of children falling seriously ill are spreading – two pupils at a Carmarthenshire school, hit by a scarlet fever outbreak, needed hospital treatment.

Councillor Glynog Davies said two dozen children at Brynaman primary had the bacterial infection. One was admitted to a Cardiff hospital.

Elsewhere, a mother shared photos of her little boy stricken with Strep A, to warn other parents. Amy Laura said two hours after putting him to bed they found him struggling to breathe with a red chest rash.

She wrote: “Rushed him to hospital. He was diagnosed with scarlet fever, Strep A and pneumonia. I’m just so happy I check my babies at night and caught it early enough for him to be here.”

Health Secretary Steve Barclay advised parents: “One in five children has this – Strep A – naturally and complications are very rare but it’s important that we’re vigilant.”

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