Is gonorrhea becoming a 'superbug?'

Published: April 21, 2011

Researchers say that the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea is becoming resistant to all the antibiotics the United States has used to treat it.

Says MyHealthNewsDaily in an exhaustive, well-researched post:

“In 2009, nearly a quarter of strains tested in a nationwide surveillance project of gonorrhea were resistant to penicillin, tetracycline, fluoroquinolones, or a combination of these antibiotics that are typically used to treat the STD. And early data from 2010 indicate resistance to another type of antibiotic, cephalosporin, is emerging. That’s concerning because cephalosporins are the only class of antibiotic left that doctors recommend to treat the disease.”
Epidemiologists worry that gonorrhea is developing into a superbug – a disease that is resistant to antibiotics and very difficult to kill, such as MRSA. They are working on strategies to fight antibiotic resistance, such as treating gonorrhea with several antibiotics at once.

Gonorrhea, known as “the clap,”  is spread throughvaginal, oral or anal sex and can lead to infertility and pelvic pain in women and epididymitis, “a painful condition of the ducts attached to the testicles that may cause infertility if not treated,” in men. It can be life-threatening if it spreads to the blood or joints.

More than 700,000 Americans become infected each year. The 2010 CDC guidelines for treating STD’s says:

“Preliminary data suggest that the incidence of HIV infection is increasing among MSM in some urban centers, particularly among MSM from racial and ethnic minority groups and among those who use nonprescription drugs during sex, particularly methamphetamine and volatile nitrites (also known as ‘poppers’).”

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