South Yorkshire Times, January 3, 1970
‘Flu Builds Up Queues
As influenza spread to the North this week, chemist in the Dearne, Mexborough and Rawmarsh areas, recovering from one of their busy holiday periods on record, appealed to people to return empty medicine bottles as stocks were running low.
Mexborough chemist Mr H Dews, who reopened the shop after the holiday break on Sunday morning, had to stay open three hours longer than scheduled to deal with long queues of people wanting prescriptions made up.
“I have never known a Sunday as busy. We dealt with 384 prescriptions, whereas on a normal Sunday we might handle 12.” said Mr Dews
“The position was just the same on Monday and the supply of medicine bottles is now very low throughout the area we are having to appeal to people to return their empties.” He added.
A warning that people who did not complete courses of antibiotics prescribed for influenza faced possible pneumonia, came from a Rawmarsh chemist, who said he had been working virtually non-stop for the past two weeks, dealing mainly with ‘flu victims.
“We dealt with over double the normal number of prescriptions during Christmas week, but some people are just not completing their course of anti-biotics and in at least one case this has led to the person contracting pneumonia.
“Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the demand for anti-biotics and this could become a big problem in the next week. We also have a serious shortage of bottles,” he said.
It was a similar story in the Dearne area over Christmas, where Dickinson’s, of Goldthorpe, opened to queues on Boxing Day. “It was certainly much busier than on a normal holiday and most people were complaining of ‘flu symptoms and coughs,” said a spokesman.
The Divisional Health Offices at Wath were unable to provide numbers of ‘flu victims, but a spokesman said that the problem appeared to be widespread.
He advised people with ‘flu symptoms to keep out of circulation and said crowded places should be avoided as much as possible.