Gonorrhoea rises to record level as drug resistance grows
GONORRHOEA cases have risen to their highest level in more than 100 years, as Public Health England warned resistance to antibiotics threatens effective treatment.
A total of 70,936 diagnoses were made last year, up by 26 per cent from 2018, according to the health agency’s annual report.
It is the largest annual number reported since records started in 1918 – when 17,635 cases were reported – and a continuation of an upward trend in recent years.
Dr Hamish Mohammed, from Public
Health England, said: “Gonorrhoea has become more resistant to antibiotics and we expect to see further cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea in the future, which will be challenging for healthcare professionals to manage.
“The consistent and correct use of condoms with new and casual sexual partners is the best defence against all STIS. If you have had sex without a condom with a new or casual partner, you should get tested.”
Overall cases of sexually transmitted infections in England also rose last year, with 468,342 diagnoses reported – up by 5 per cent from 447,522 in 2018.
Gonorrhoea was the second-most commonly diagnosed STI after chlamydia, accounting for 15 per cent and 49 per cent of cases respectively.
The report for 2018 showed that gonorrhoea among the over-65s was rising at nearly double the national average, with divorce and dating apps blamed for increased promiscuity.