Gonorrhoea on rise as disease resists common drug treatment
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.