Gonorrhea, although not the deadliest of STDs, is certainly one of the most unpleasant. And researchers from England bring even more bad news, as they claim that improper medication could make gonorrhea untreatable.
- Gonorrhea is usually treated with ceftriaxone as an injection and azithromycin as a pill
- Only taking one of the antibiotics can result in the disease becoming immune to the one taken
- The prevalence of the infection increased by 19% from 2013 to 2014
- Often, the infected don’t show any symptoms, but they are still able to spread the disease
- Untreated cases can lead to sterility, infertility, and even death
Experts have started to worry about a new strain of gonorrhea that was discovered throughout England starting March. They are even worried that if the strain continues as it has so far, the disease will soon become untreatable.
The new strain is extremely resistant to antibiotics, so much so that the experts have starting referring to it as ‘super gonorrhea’.
The new infection strain show a very high resistance to one of the antibiotics used to treat it, azithromycin, and the researchers are quite sure that they pinpointed the reason as to why this is happening.
Usually, in order to get rid of the disease, one would require two antibiotics – a shot of ceftriaxone and a pill of azithromycin. This would cure the infection in one go, without allowing it to develop any resistance to the treatment, as it tends to happen with most antibiotics.
However, a very worrisome trend in England seems to show that a number of pharmacies are only supplying the oral medication, thus allowing the bacterium to gain resistance.
Dr. Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer, as well as the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, sent a letter earlier this year, warning against the practice.
The letter stated that due to the disassociation of the two medications, the new strain of gonorrhea has become resistant to a large number of antibiotics. It also advises to resume the previous treatment of the infection, otherwise the bacterium might become untreatable.
Gonorrhea is the second most common sexual transmitted disease in England, with 2014 showing a whopping 34,958 cases. It’s caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhea, and it’s transmitted by having unprotected sex of all kinds.
Even though it shows no symptoms in some people, it turns them into carriers, allowing for a much easier spread.
The disease can lead to sterility and infertility, puss in the genital areas, pain during urination, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even death. It can even be transmitted to newborns at birth.