Gonorrhoea ‘Superbug’ is Spreading Around the World

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Gonorrhoea ‘Superbug’ is Not Treatable, to Date


Gonorrhoea ‘Superbug’ is spreading around the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It has been reported that last-resort drugs will soon be futile after three confirmed cases were not helped by antibiotics. The WHO estimates that 78 million people, worldwide, contract the disease, in some other form, each year. Most cases affect young men and women under the age of 25.

Gonorrhoea ‘Superbug’ Needs New Attention

According to Marc Sprenger, director of antimicrobial resistance at the WHO, “To control gonorrhoea, we need new tools and systems for better prevention, treatment, earlier diagnosis, and more complete tracking and reporting of new infections, antibiotic use, resistance and treatment failures.” He said, “Specifically, we need new antibiotics, as well as rapid, accurate, point-of-care diagnostic tests – ideally, ones that can predict which antibiotics will work on that particular infection – and longer term, a vaccine to prevent gonorrhoea.”

Teodora Wi, a human reproduction specialist at the Geneva-based UN health agency, “Gonorrhoea is a very smart bug. Every time you introduce a new type of antibiotic to treat it, this bug develops resistance to it.”

The three cases of the ‘Superbug” may just be the beginning. They were confirmed in Japan, France and Spain. “These cases may just be the tip of the iceberg, since systems to diagnose and report untreatable infections are lacking in lower-income countries where gonorrhoea is actually more common,” Wi said.

Gonorrhoea can cause symptoms such as discharge or pain during urination, swelling of the scrotum and urethra. Complications of the disease have far-reaching and long-term consequences. Many cases don’t show symptoms of the disease. This results is the spread of the disease in the community without realizing it. Patients with gonorrhoea are also at higher risk for HIV infections.

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