Gonorrhea is the second most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted disease, with chlamydia being the first. Despite it’s easy treatment, if not diagnosed/treated, the effects of gonorrhea can be severe.
For women, it can mean something as serious as pelvic inflammatory disease and/or infertility. In men, it can cause a condition of the testicles called epididymitis, which can also lead to infertility, scarring of the urethra, and prostate conditions.
A particular strain of gonorrhea, which may have originated in Japan, is resistant to drug treatment. For many years, diagnosed gonorrhea was relatively easy to get rid of. A treatment of penicillin was usually all it took to permanently clear it up (unless a reinfection occurred), and in more recent times, medications like Ceftriaxone or Cipro took care of it. However, a so-called “superbug” is not responding to any of the usual treatments, and there is no new treatment in sight for this particular strain.
Infection control experts fear that this superbug could lead to an epidemic among sexually active people because of the high gonorrhea rates. There are approximately three-quarters of a million new cases every year in America, so a drug-resistant strain could mean serious health risks for millions of people.
Experts are recommending doctors switch to a different class of medications known as cephalosporins to see if they can win where Cipro is failing. Also, these strains are not limited to Asia. In fact, some drug-resistant strains are found in America, with Philadelphia being one of the most affected areas.
The best way to avoid gonorrhea is to always use a condom, remain monogamous, and regularly test for STDs.
For more information on this story, check the CDC’s website: www.cdc.gov. For more information on gonorrhea in general, check out our informative page here: http://www.empowher.com/condition/gonorrhea/definition
MMWR News Synopsis for July 7, 2011
What do you think of these superbugs? Do you think they will discourage people from having sex irresponsibly?
Reviewed July 18, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.