The island has enough medicine to treat children with Strep A, even if the are shortages of some varieties.

Health Minister Lawrie Hooper was asked about stock levels in a written question from John Wannenburgh (Douglas North).

Mr Hooper said that Manx Care is constantly reviewing the stocks held in the community and hospital for any outbreak of infectious disease, including Strep A.

He added: ‘During any outbreak situation daily meetings are held between Public Health staff and clinical staff, including the Consultant Microbiologist from Manx Care, to ensure the correct information is being provided to both the public and all clinical staff on island.

‘Based on advice from expert advisors on island and from NHS England and Public Health England we ensure that appropriate antibiotics are available in all locations.

‘Infections caused by Strep A respond to a variety of antibiotics and whilst some may be in short supply, they can be replaced by another equally appropriate option.’

Mr Hooper also spoke of managing stocks on the island by ‘securing back-stocks for MEDS and Ramsey MIU and by communicating to GPs which community pharmacies are holding the different preparations’.

One part of Mr Hooper’s answer that stood out is that while younger children ideally will be given liquid medicine, he said ‘Manx Care and Public Health staff have been working with schools to encourage older children to practise taking tablets and capsules, in an effort to preserve liquid antibiotic stocks’.