Posted on Apr 11, 2018, 1 a.m.
Unfortunately for a man in the UK he has displayed a uniquely resistant case of gonorrhea that was so dramatically resistant to treatment it chilled his physicians as not only is it not wise to be untreated, but this case is a harbinger of a looming crisis.
Gonorrheas is an infection which is caused by bacteria that antibiotics will usually kill. Bacteria with time can evolve to become resistant to that treatment of antibiotic. Gonorrhea is a common worldwide STD. There are close to 78 million new cases new cases of gonorrhea every year, up to 30% of all cases of gonorrhea are resistant to at least one antibiotic according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
W.H.O has been warning of increasing spread of viruses and bacterias which are resistant to older and cheaper antibiotics. Certain countries with better monitoring systems have found cases of resistance to all known antibiotic according to the UN agency.
This case is the first of its kind. The man visited a clinic earlier this year and was given combination of ceftriaxone and azithromycin antibiotics which is known to be effective in killing the disease. However the once effective cocktail has failed to wipe out the infection, the patient is now being treated with ertapenem antibiotic injections which are much stronger and will be retested next month. The whole world anxiously awaits results.
It was revealed by Public Health England that the man caught the highly resistant strain of gonorrhea from a female partner during a trip to Southeast Asia. Authorities are tracking down the individual to try and contain further the spread of the resistant disease. This case once again highlights the importance of practicing safe sex.
Cases such as this may unfortunately just be the tip of the iceberg as systems designed to diagnose and report untreatable infections such as the like of this case are generally lacking in lower income countries where gonorrhea is more common. New antibiotics are hard to come by and expensive to produce, resistance evolves fast due to extensive use in farming and agriculture.
Effects of resistance are already being felt with superbugs claiming up to 50,000 lives every year with the USA and Europe alone. It is estimated that worldwide drug resistant infection kill at least 700,000 people each year according to the UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. Those deaths are largely due to resistance of cheap, old, widely available antibiotics.
What makes this case of gonorrheas so notable is that thus far it has resisted all treatments which were previously considered to work and be very effective. Doctors are treating the man with even more powerful antibiotics in hope that they might finally find one that works effectively.
Until new more effective treatments for gonorrhea and other antibiotic resistant infection are found, the only way to avoid catching a potentially untreatable STI is the same as the method as preventing a treatable one: safe protected sex. Prophylactics are there for a reason, use them. Should anyone need an extra reminder as to why it is recommended to practice safe methods in the boudior, well here you go, this exactly, case and point. What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, it stays with you and occasionally flares up, or SouthEast Asia whatever the case may be, there are a variety of infectious and even deadly things to be caught, just wrap it up and play safe as it is your health on the line.
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