US medical officials are investigating the country’s first two cases of a possible strain of super gonorrhea, which is reportedly showing signs of resistance to a plethora of antibiotics.
Both patients of the super gonorrhea strain are in Massachusetts, which is also the likely source for contracting the disease, as neither resident had a recent history of traveling outside, according to reports.
However, the two cases in Massachusetts appear to be unrelated, the Daily Mail reports.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gonorrhea has “gradually developed resistance to the antibiotics prescribed to treat it. After the spread of gonococcal resistance to fluoroquinolone, the cephalosporin antibiotics have been the basis of the recommended treatment for gonorrhea .
“The emergence of cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea would significantly complicate the ability of healthcare providers to successfully treat gonorrhea, as we have few antibiotic options left that are simple, well-studied, well-tolerated and highly effective. It is critical to resistance and encourage research and development of new treatment regimens.”
The Daily Mail also reports that cases of super gonorrhea have previously been reported in Austria and the United Kingdom.
Dr. Margret Cooke, the chief of Massachusetts health department, recently characterized the discovery of supergonorrhea as a “serious public health problem.”
“We urge all sexually active people to get tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases and to consider reducing the number of sexual partners and using more condoms during sex,” she said.
According to reports, gonorrhea is the second most common sexually transmitted infection or STI in America, with about 700,000 new cases discovered each year.
Gonorrhea usually causes a painful or burning sensation when urinating or an unpleasant vaginal discharge.
If left untreated, the infection can lead to “serious complications,” according to reports, including infertility and potentially life-threatening pelvic inflammatory disease in women.
Gonorrhea has also been linked to permanent blindness in newborns, the Daily Mail reports.
Gonorrhea cases are reportedly treated with an injection of the antibiotic ceftriaxone. Patients may also be given “antibiotics to take orally, such as azithromycin and doxycycline,” reports the Daily Mail.
In Massachusetts, the first gonorrhea patient reportedly complained of urethritis, or inflammation of the urethra — “the tube that carries urine through the penis and out of the body.”
After a series of studies, a patient test showed that the Super Gonorrhea strain was less sensitive to this antibiotic and resistant to other antibiotics used against the bacteria.
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