Gon­or­rhoea on rise as dis­ease re­sists com­mon drug treat­ment

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Laura Don­nelly HEALTH ED­I­TOR

SU­PER-GON­OR­RHOEA is on the rise amid an in­crease in an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance. Health of­fi­cials are warn­ing that the ef­fec­tive­ness of treat­ment for the sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­ease is un­der threat at a time when cases are soar­ing.

Lat­est fig­ures show a sharp rise in re­sis­tance to com­mon first-line treat­ments for gon­or­rhoea. A re­port by Pub­lic Health Eng­land (PHE) warns that re­sis­tance to three of the key drugs used to treat the in­fec­tion has grown, lim­it­ing the op­tions to treat the dis­ease.

Ear­lier this year of­fi­cials warned that a Bri­ton had con­tracted the “world’s worst ever” case of su­per-gon­or­rhoea. The case oc­curred af­ter the man had a sex­ual en­counter with a woman in south-east Asia.

The main com­bi­na­tion treat­ment, which in­volves azithromycin and cef­tri­ax­one, failed to cure the in­fec­tion, as did a num­ber of other drugs. He was cured af­ter three days on a drip with er­tapenem, an an­tibi­otic.

Roughly one in 10 men and more than three quar­ters of women show no recog­nis­able symp­toms when in­fected with the dis­ease. Cases of gon­or­rhoea have risen by 22 per cent in one year, with al­most 45,000 di­ag­noses in 2017, fig­ures for Eng­land show.

Dr He­len Fifer, a PHE con­sul­tant mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gist, said: “Gon­or­rhoea can be se­ri­ous if un­treated, with pos­si­ble long-term health prob­lems in­clud­ing in­fer­til­ity and pelvic in­flam­ma­tory dis­ease. The best way to pro­tect your­self is to al­ways use con­doms with new and ca­sual part­ners.

“We ex­pect to see fur­ther cases of an­tibi­otic re­sis­tant gon­or­rhoea in the fu­ture, which will be chal­leng­ing for health­care pro­fes­sion­als to man­age.”

Last night it was re­ported that more than 41,000 obese peo­ple needed hip or knee re­place­ment surgery last year. The fig­ure, re­ported by The Sun­day Times, in­cluded seven teenage girls.

The num­ber of joint re­place­ments for obese pa­tients have soared six-fold since 2009, the news­pa­per re­ported.

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