February 9, 2023

A five-year old girl with Strep A symptoms who was disabled was denied antibiotics for 24hrs because the pharmacy was “outof stock,” her mother claims.

Betsy Curtis, a Down syndrome patient, was prescribed the drugs after she had been showing signs of a bacterial infection for over a week.

Her Northumberland mother Rachel, 40, was worried after Betsy’s condition worsened. She was unable to make a GP appointment before 4.30pm.

Her Her family history includes bronchitis, pneumonia, and she is especially vulnerable to respiratory infections like Strep A.

Betsy Curtis (left), five-year-old from Northumberland, went without antibiotics for 24 hours because pharmacies were ‘out stock’ despite Strep A symptoms. Her mother claims that Betsy Curtis (left) was able to go without antibiotics for 24 hours.

Her mother Rachel (left), 40, was concerned after Betsy's condition worsened and she was unable to get a GP appointment until 4.30pm. Right: Betsy's father Marc

Her Rachel, a mother of Betsy (left), was concerned that Betsy’s health was worsening and she couldn’t get a GP appointment before 4.30pm. Right: Betsy’s father Marc

1670845835 807 Strep A Disabled girl with symptoms left without antibiotics because

What are the symptoms? How does it spread? Is it the exact same as scarlet fever and how does it spread? All you need to learn about the killer bug that is sweeping Britain

What is Strep A?

Many infections can be caused by Group A Streptococcus (or Strep A) bacteria.

The bacteria is most commonly found in the throat or on the skin. Some people don’t even notice symptoms.

Strep A infections can cause minor to fatal diseases.

These include scarlet fever, skin infection impetigo and strep throat.

Although most infections are not severe, there is a rare infection called invasive Group B streptococcal disease.

1670329573 166 Strep A Parents who children have battled the deadly infection

What is Invasive Group A Streptococcal Disorder?

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Invasive group A Strep disease can be a life-threatening infection in which bacteria has invaded certain parts of the body such as the blood, deep muscle, or lungs.

Two of the most serious, but rarest forms of invasive disease include necrotizing fasciitis (also known as streptococcal toxichock syndrome) and necrotizing fasciitis (also known as streptococcal toxichock syndrome).

Necrotizing Fasciitis is also known as “flesh-eating Disease” and can be caused by a wound infection.

Streptococcal toxic stress syndrome is a rapidly advancing infection that causes low blood sugar/shock and organ damage such as the liver, kidneys, and lungs.

This toxic shock can cause high mortality rates.


Ms. Curtis was rejected by pharmacies in four cities, amid shortages caused the outbreak.

She After Betsy’s grandparents called other pharmacies looking for one, she was finally able get clarithromycin the next morning.

Betsy is now doing well, but Mrs. Curtis worries that her daughter’s condition might have been worse if she had waited longer to get the medication.

Sixteen children have died this winter due to a deadly side effect of the harmless Strep A virus. According to health officials, the death toll is higher that expected.

Last week, doctors called on pharmacists for the right to give alternative antibiotics to sick kids this winter.

Officials blame lockdowns for stopping the spread of Strep A virus and other viruses. This makes children more likely to contract it and make them sick.

MailOnline was told today by experts that the unusually severe outbreak could be fueled by parents who are unable to access GP appointments.

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Betsy fell ill November 30th and was taken by the local drop-in centre to be treated.

The emergency department had a wait of up to six hour and Ms Curtis claims there were children on the waiting area floor.

Her After her daughter was seen by a doctor, she was given an inhaler. But her condition worsened over a week. Mrs Curtis sought help from a GP.

Ms Curtis explained that she called me on Wednesday morning to check on her infection. They didn’t have any appointments so we were sent to their sister clinic.

“They had no appointments until 4:30 p.m.

“They prescribed her clarithromycin and I drove back home to the pharmacy which was out of stock and many were closing by then.

“I drove to Ashington’s large ASDA, where there was a long line.

“A woman stood in front of me and burst into tears because she was low in antibiotics and her son couldn’t breath.”

Rachel drove to another pharmacy, but was unsuccessful.

She Betsy says that a pharmacist advised her to dial 911 and request a common antibiotic. But Betsy needed the prescribed one because she is fragile.

After After hours of driving, waiting for the 911 call, Betsy finally decided to go to an emergency room in the middle the night.

Rachel said, “It was freezing cold, I couldn’t take her into a room full of poor kids. A friend informed me that the wait time was 15 hours.

“I needed to be able to care for my child so I went to sleep and immediately called back the doctor.

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“Fortunately my parents had called several pharmacies in order to check for the antibiotic, and one had a bottle left.

“This took more than 24 hours to take the prescription from my child.”

She added: “Right now we don’t have a health care system anymore. It was really scary to not be able to see a doctor.

“Betsy has Down syndrome and she can become seriously ill in minutes. We almost lost her so many time to respiratory infections.

“I feel so sorry for the staff that are trying to do their jobs under the most horrific conditions.”