Gonorrhoea rises to record level as drug re­sis­tance grows

The Daily Telegraph - - News - Phoebe South­worth By

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.

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