After several cases of this new strain have been reported in the UK, the US may be under the threat of an untreatable form of gonorrhea as well. This sexually transmitted disease is extremely adaptable and has been plaguing almost all human civilizations for almost 2.000 years up to this point.
Although, since 1940, gonorrhea has been treatable through the use antibiotics, the disease has become increasingly resistant to these treatments, in some cases becoming completely untreatable. This illness is caused by the infection with the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium. Its symptoms in men are usually felt during urination or penis discharge under the form of burning and stinging sensations. In women, symptoms are present in 50% of cases, with pelvic pains and vaginal discharges.
Infection can lead to inflammatory diseases or epididymis inflammation (testicular pain). Gonorrhea can be prevented through the use of condoms and its treatment involves the use of antibiotics. After treatment has been administered, a follow-up check after a 3 month period is strongly advised, given the fact that the bacteria has started to develop strong resistances to antibiotic-based treatments.
The usual medication administered is in the form of ceftriaxone, with the addition of azithromycin that is prescribed to fight off chlamydia, because gonorrhea is usually paired with this disease during diagnostics. Reports from the CDC state that the bacteria is currently showing an increased resistance to the aforementioned azithromycin, urging doctors to exercise extreme caution when dealing with this disease.
This antibiotic resistance in viruses and bacteria have surfaced because of unwarranted antibiotic use. By taking these treatments when they are not needed, disease-spreading bacteria that have an increased adaptability develop resistances towards the aforementioned medication. This is not only limited to gonorrhea, with other so-called “super-bugs” slowly becoming more prevalent across the globe.
Because gonorrhea can lead to life-threatening side-effects, researchers urge doctors to follow the first line of treatment when presented with this type of diagnostic. In the US, the complete antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea has not yet surfaced. But several patients have shown a slight increase in resistance towards ceftriaxone treatments.
The best advice still viable is the use of condoms. Besides gonorrhea, protected sex can also defend people from other various life-threatening sexually transmitted diseases. Hopefully, scientists will be able to develop a viable cure for gonorrhea before this disease reaches an untreatable stage in its evolution. If that level will be reached, its spread will be exponentially increased, and may eventually even overtake other diseases in regards to global diagnostic numbers.
Bearing in mind that the US may be under the threat of an untreatable form of gonorrhea, the general public should refrain from having unprotected sex with partners that may have the disease. Even though gonorrhea is currently in its early stages regarding antibiotic resistance, this does not mean that it will not become a super-bug in the near future.