United Kingdom man infected with super-gonorrhoea

STD Risk

An English man has contracted a new strain of "super gonorrhoea", so named because it is resistant to two vital antibiotics.

World Health Organization data compiled in 77 countries past year found that antibiotic resistance is making gonorrhea an increasingly hard, and sometimes impossible, STI to treat.

The man, who hasn't been named, is said to have caught the STI from a woman during a trip to south-east Asia earlier this year.

"We are investigating a case who has gonorrhoea which was acquired overseas and is very resistant to the recommended first line treatment", Dr Gwenda Hughes, the head of Public Health England's STI section said.

In 2016, Public Health England warned that a powerful strain of the bug had first been seen in the north of England and had spread to the Midlands and the South East.

Early reports look to indicate that his United Kingdom partner does not have the infection, but they are still keeping tabs on her.

Gonorrhoea is one of the most infectious sexually transmitted infections and can easily be passed on from unprotected vaginal, anal and oral intercourse.

Doctors in England have previously expressed fears that it's only a matter of time before the main drugs used to treat the superbug fail and the threat of treatment-resistant super-gonorrhoea in Ireland has been flagged before.

"The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are particularly smart".

"The emergence of this new strain of highly resistant gonorrhoea is of huge concern and is a significant development", president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV Dr Olwen Williams told the BBC.

Gonorrhea's primary treatment is a combination of theazithromycin and ceftriaxone antibiotics.

"This is the first time a case has displayed such high-level resistance to both of these drugs and to most other commonly used antibiotics", the BBC quoted Dr Gwenda Hughes, from Public Health England, as saying.

Symptoms usually develop within two weeks of a person becoming infected, but around one in 10 men and half of women who are infected will not experience any obvious signs of the infection. Only chlamydia and genital warts are more common.

An estimated 78 million people are infected with the disease every year.

One in ten men and nearly half of infected women will not experience any symptoms. Left untreated, the infection can cause serious health problems, including long-term abdominal pain and pelvic inflammatory disease, which could lead to ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

The list was divided into three categories, prioritised by the urgency of the need for new antibiotics: critical, high and medium.



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