Gonorrhea will soon become untreatable if doctors keep prescribing the wrong antibiotics, making the infection resistant to any known drugs.
The bacterium that is causing gonorrhea is gaining resistance even to the newest antibiotics, becoming almost unstoppable. This is why it is very important for doctors not to prescribe the wrong treatment or suboptimal doses of antibiotic since this would only help it become resistant to the drug used for treating it.
British authorities are showing the greatest concern on this matter, as more than 15 cases of “super-gonorrhea” were detected in the United Kingdom this year from March to September.
The super-resistant strain which is immune to azithromycin, the first-line antibiotic used for treating the infection until now, has first appeared in Leeds and then spread across the country.
All of the reported cases were found in heterosexual patients, of which some had partners in other parts of the UK.
However the issue was not quite unexpected as the European Union’s infectious disease monitor was warning about the danger of gonorrhea growing resistance to antibiotics for a few years already.
After chlamydia, gonorrhea is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK, with about 35,000 reported cases this year only. The great majority of affected people were young adults under 25.
Gonorrhea can lead to very serious health problems if left untreated, from infertility to a life-threatening inflammation of the pelvis. The condition is even worse for pregnant women as it has the potential of harming the unborn who might be born with permanent blindness.
Gonorrhea may remain undetected for long periods since for half of the infected women and for about 10 percent of the infected men there are no evident symptoms of the infection. The rest of the patients might experience pain while urinating.
According to a research published earlier this year, many general practitioners are prescribing old-fashion antibiotics that don’t have any effect in treating gonorrhea but on the contrary, they might help the drug-resistant strains gain even more resistance.
The study revealed that many doctors were still recommending ciprofloxacin to their patients even it is known that ciprofloxacin isn’t working for gonorrhea since 2005. Despite that, in 2007 42 percent of gonorrhea patients were still treated with ciprofloxacin and even in 2011 it was still recommended in one out of every five cases.
The Department of Public Health recommends all people to reduce their risk of getting infected with gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections by using condoms and getting tested regularly.
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