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7 Cases of Drug-Resistant “Super Gonorrhea” Discovered in Hawaii, Causing Alarm in the U.S.

Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea

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A strain of the sexually transmitted disease, gonorrhea, is developing resistance to antibiotic treatment at an alarming rate and causing alarm among health officials in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently identified a cluster of drug-resistant gonorrhea in Hawaii, spiking fears that the STD might some day be nearly impossible to treat. While the six men and one woman were successfully treated using the standard ceftriaxone and azithromycin two-drug regimen, further lab testing revealed that the infection took significantly longer than normal to be cured.

According the CDC, early cases such as these serve as a warning sign to both public health officials and patients, as gonorrheal infections have continued to spread and develop resistance to nearly every class of antibiotics over the years. Dr. Alan Katz, a professor of public health at the University of Hawaii and member of the Hawaii State Board of Health commented on the increasing cause for concern:

“The future risk of gonorrhea becoming resistant to both of the recommended therapy medications in the United States is troubling. We’ve been one of the first states to see declining effectiveness of each drug over the years. That’s made us extremely vigilant, so we were able to catch this cluster early and treat everyone found who was linked to the cluster.”

There are experimental antibiotics currently in development at Louisiana State University, which thus far has proven to be a safe and effective way to treat gonorrheal infections. The drug, simply known as ETX0914 right now, is in the second phase of a clinical trial, though it has yet to be tested on a large scale. Considering that gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States, over 800,000 Americans would be affected if gonorrhea were to develop total antibiotic resistance. If you’re looking for a fail-proof way to avoid the infection, we have the answer. Use protection. Simple as that.

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