The World Health Organization has warned of a new superbug version of gonorrhea, one that is drug-resistant and, in some cases, untreatable. Thus far there are reports of untreatable gonorrhea coming out of Japan, France, and Spain, and unfortunately some of the patients may be infecting others; one WHO medical officer reports that a patient infected with untreatable gonorrhea ‘just disappeared,’ failing to return for follow-ups.
Gonorrhea is a serious STD that infects about 78 million people around the globe every year. The condition is transmittable between individuals and can result in a variety of problems, including infertility, increased vulnerability to HIV, infections in newborns born to infected mothers, and more. In some cases, infected individuals do not present any symptoms, with most infected women having no symptoms and about 40% of men being symptom-free.
Unfortunately, some people — including some infected individuals — are failing to take proper care despite warnings of this STD’s existence. An individual infected with superbug gonorrhea is at risk of spreading it to others. Talking about this, WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research medical officer Dr. Teodora Wi described one patient who didn’t follow through with medical appointments.
‘After one of those cases, [the infected patient] just disappeared,’ he said to CBC.They don’t come back for follow-up. You can infect others by having this untreatable infection. It can be transmitted.’
The rise of the drug-resistance is being caused by a number of factors, including failing to finish a full course of antibiotics, a drop in condom usage, low detection rates, failed or inadequate treatment, and increased travel among people. Two major steps in dealing with the matter include regular testing to detect the presence of the STD, as well as condom use and other safe-sex practices.
Thus far, doctors are being advised to treat gonorrhea with two antibiotics, azithromycin and ceftriaxone, at the same time. That is the only potential way to clear up the disease in cases of resistance. That is a temporary ‘solution,’ though, as resistance is inevitable and a different, more adequate, treatment will soon be necessary.