Parents are being urged not to self-diagnose their children with Strep A as pharmacies warn of penicillin shortages. 

It comes as a recent small outbreak of the infection has seen nine children (at the time of writing) die from the illness. 

But now, a senior pharmacist has shared concerns about the government's plans to give antibiotics to children in schools to stop Strep A. 

As Pharmacy director Zeshan Rehmani shared that the plans are "out of touch" telling Sky News: "There's no drugs. Today, we haven't been able to get any penicillin in stock at all."

Hereford Times:

The lack of medicine has seen some parents restore to using old or even out-of-date antibiotics to treat their children. 

Seeing, the chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Thorrun Govind warns parents to not self-diagnose and to get advice from their GP. 

Sharing that leftover antibiotics must be returned to pharmacies to avoid giving children the wrong dose. 

READ MORE: What is it? Symptoms, treatment and how it spreads as more children die

READ MORE: Strep A: Primary school children could be given antibiotics en masse

Strep A symptoms

Dr Yimmy Chow, health protection consultant at UKHSA London, said: “Group A streptococcal infections usually result in mild illness, and information has been shared with parents and staff about the signs and symptoms.

“These include a sore throat, fever and minor skin infections, and can be treated with a full course of antibiotics from the GP. In rare incidences, it can be a severe illness and anyone with high fever, severe muscle aches, pain in one area of the body and unexplained vomiting or diarrhoea should call NHS 111 and seek medical help immediately.”

How is Strep A treated?

Strep A infections such as scarlet fever and impetigo are treated with antibiotics.

After a full 24 hours of antibiotics, people are generally thought to no longer be contagious.

Anyone thought to have invasive Group A Streptococcal disease should seek medical help immediately. Antibiotics, other drugs and intensive medical attention are likely to be needed.