THERE is still a warning about antibiotic availability after pharmacies have been issued with ‘serious shortage protocols’ on penicillin.

This comes despite cases of Scarlett fever dropping.

A serious shortage protocol allows pharmacies to provide substitute treatment instead of sending patients back to surgery.

One pharmacist based in Penarth told this publication times are still challenging on the strep A front, however focus is now on other illnesses as well.

“It is still challenging, but not as bad as it was,” said the pharmacist.

“What we are finding is there is not so much strep A now kids are off school, but there are so many coughs and colds going round.

“It is not quite as horrendous as it has been, but it is still around.”

In the latest weekly notification of infectious diseases report (NOIDs) issued by the UK Government’s Health Security Agency, week 50, ending December 18, saw a drop in cases in Wales and the Vale compared to the previous week.

There has been 19 cases of Scarlett fever in the Vale and 648 in Wales in week 50.

Compare that to week 49, ending December 11, which saw 60 cases in the Vale and 848 cases in Wales.

Nikesh Patel, superintendent of St Brides pharmacy on Ramsey Road in Barry, previously said he was issuing a month's supply of antibiotics in two days at the start of December as strep A fears took hold.

On December 23, Mr Patel said his pharmacies are still seeing a lot of cases. 

“Demand (for antibiotics) has died down a bit, and supply has come back a bit as well,” said Mr Patel.

“But there are still shortages of penicillin and a few key antibiotics that help fight the infection, and we’re just working with surgeries to try give updates to patients.”

Barry And District News:

In the latest update from Public Health Wales, issued on December 20, Dr Graham Brown, consultant in communicable disease control, said PHW had been notified of fewer than five deaths in children under the age of 15 in whom iGAS was detected since September 1. 

Barry And District News:

A Welsh Government spokesperson said the government had introduced a range of measures to increase supply of antibiotics.

These included speeding up movement of additional stock from manufacturers to hospital and community pharmacies, ensuring sufficient supplies are available to out-of-hours services over the holiday period, and allowing pharmacists to supply alternative clinically appropriate antibiotics where those ordered on a prescription are not available.