(TheConservativeNews.org) – Americans are being warned about not just a “tripledemic,” but a shortage of antibiotics.
Combining Covid-19 with a surge in children contracting respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the flu, this being the “tripledemic,” America is reportedly running short on four key antibiotics.
“Health officials have declared a shortage of amoxicillin, a vital antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia, respiratory infections and strep throat,” the Daily Mail reported. “But doctors on the ground are also reporting dwindling stocks of Augmentin – an antibiotic drug that uses amoxicillin alongside clavulanic acid – Tamiflu, the most commonly used flu medication in US hospitals, and albuterol, an inhaler for asthma and to relieve other lung symptoms.”
With RSV and flu surging to their highest level in a decade for this time of year, according to the British tabloid, several children’s hospitals around the country have already hit 100% capacity. The pandemic lockdown and mitigation measures like masking and isolation reportedly being partially to blame, with people reportedly being more susceptible to illness as these measures go away.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 8,987 new cases of RSV last week, and while the virus usually results in mild cold-like symptoms, it can be especially harmful to young children.
The Daily Mail noted that during the week that ended on November 5, a new seasonal high of 15,476 RSV cases were reported, and that the CDC also reported 15,308 flu cases last week, the highest total yet for this flu season.
“In my 25 years of being a pediatrician, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Dr. Stacene Maroushek told CNN.
“I have seen families who just aren’t getting a break. They have one viral illness after another,” said Maroushek, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Hennepin Healthcare in Minnesota. “And now there’s the secondary effect of ear infections and pneumonia that are prompting amoxicillin shortages.”
An Oklahoma pharmacist, Dr. Renae Kraft, told the network that both generic and brand-name versions of Tamiflu are in short supply in her area.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned in October that amoxicillin was in low supply, the Daily Mail said, pointing out that Amoxicillin is a stronger version of the well-known drug penicillin, and is one of the most frequently prescribed drugs to children during flu season.
The drug doesn’t fight the flu itself but does help with accompanying bacterial infections. Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University, suggested that the drug is over-subscribed.
“Anytime respiratory viruses kick up, people start prescribing antibiotics, even inappropriately, and that’s created a lot of demand,” Adalja told CNN.
Adding to parents’ worries is a reported shortage of children’s Tylenol, with the Daily Mail reporting that pharmacists are warning that a shortage in Canada has carried over into the United States.
“The pain reliever is one of the most popular drugs in the country, and is used to quell youngsters’ fevers,” the newspaper reported. “Pharmacy workers in states such as New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Michigan have seen their store stock dwindle – with photos showing barren shelves where the drug should be.”
The shortage prompted this reply on Twitter: “Let me get this straight – Canada grossly over ordered COVID jabs; and can’t solve an acute children’s Tylenol shortage. Cuba is better managed than this.”