Warn­ing over ‘su­per­bug’ gon­or­rhoea out­break

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

AN out­break of highly drug-re­sis­tant gon­or­rhoea has been de­tected in Mac­cles­field.

Fif­teen cases of the sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­ease have been found by Public Health Eng­land (PHE) in the north of the coun­try so far, in­clud­ing ‘a small num­ber of pa­tients’ in Mac­cles­field.

The Bri­tish As­so­ci­a­tion for Sex­ual Health and HIV an­nounced the news, adding that re­ports of cases of the in­fec­tion that have proved to be re­sis­tant to an­tibi­otics have pre­vi­ously been rare.

The out­break, which was first de­tected in Leeds in March, has since spread.

Cases have been dis­cov­ered in pa­tients from Mac­cles­field, Old­ham and Scun­thorpe.

All of the cases in­volve het­ero­sex­ual pa­tients, and some peo­ple have re­ported part­ners from other parts of Eng­land. Dr Mri­nalini Mahto, East Cheshire NHS Trust’s Lead Clin­i­cian for Sex­ual Health, said there are al­ter­na­tive treat­ments avail­able for the strain re­sis­tant to an­tibi­otics.

He added that while peo­ple should al­ways be care­ful, there is no need to panic.

He said: “We can con­firm that the Mac­cles­field area is among those in which gon­or­rhoea re­sis­tant to one type of an­tibi­otic has been de­tected, how­ever the num­ber of cases is very small.

“It is very im­por­tant to note that any of our pa­tients af­fected by this is­sue will al­ready have been made aware of this and of­fered fur­ther treat­ment.

“Two an­tibi­otics are rou­tinely used to treat gon­or­rhoea and should a pa­tient present with a strain which is re­sis­tant to both types, fur­ther al­ter­na­tive treat­ments are avail­able.”

A spokesman for the as­so­ci­a­tion said: “An out­break con­trol team meet­ing has been con­vened and Sex­u­ally Trans­mit­ted Bac­te­ria Ref­er­ence Unit are cur­rently per­form­ing next gen­er­a­tion se­quenc­ing on these strains to bet­ter un­der­stand the molec­u­lar epi­demi­ol­ogy.”

It added: “PHE is con­cerned that the ef­fec­tive­ness of cur­rent front-line dual ther­apy for gon­or­rhoea will be threat­ened if this re­sis­tant strain con­tin­ues to spread unchecked.”

Any­one who is con­cerned that they may have gon­or­rhoea or any other sex­u­ally- trans­mit­ted in­fec­tion should seek med­i­cal help.

The Trust also of­fers postal test­ing kits for gon­or­rhoea, visit www.go­sex­u­al­health.co.uk.

‘We can con­firm the Mac­cles­field area is among those in which gon­or­rhoea . . . has been de­tected’

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