Warning over ‘superbug’ gonorrhoea outbreak
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’