Scarlet fever cases have surged by tenfold in a year, official data shows, as pharmacists grapple with a shortage of antibiotics during a Strep A outbreak. Strep A bacteria usually only causes mild illness, including scarlet fever and strep throat, which is treated with antibiotics. But in rare cases, it can progress into a potentially life-threatening disease if it gets into the bloodstream.
Infections are higher than normal for this time of year, and at least nine children have died after contracting the bacteria in recent weeks. Pharmacists say they are struggling to get their hands on antibiotics to treat Strep A infections – despite the government insisting there is no shortage.
“We are worried because we are having to turn patients away,” said Dr Leyla Hannbeck, the head of the Association of Multiple Pharmacies (AIMP).
Source: The Independent, 8 December 2022