A new finding from researchers shows Gonorrhea is rapidly becoming a super-bug that is untreatable around the world.
The sexually transmitted disease can be spread from the genitals through unprotected sex and from the throat through oral sex, health experts say.
According a stat provided by the researchers, one in ten men and almost half of infected women will never experience any symptoms from the bacteria, which causes pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility and an increased risk of HIV.
About 97 per cent of countries under WHO’s gonorrhea surveillance programme (between 2009 and 2014) were found to have drug-resistant strains of the infection.
Statistical figures from 77 countries show the infection is becoming resistant to older and cheaper antibiotics.
Although oral sex has been blamed for a rise in the sexually transmitted infection in the UK, new figures from China prove the bug is becoming a global threat, with the rate of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea in the Asian country rising from 1.9 per cent to 3.3 per cent between 2013 to 2016, according to the country’s National Center for Sexually Transmitted Disease Control.
The results have always been there, heath experts warned, stressing that this is not the first time the globe has been alerted on the threats from STDs, and gonorrhea in particular.
In 2017, the World Health Organisation warned that antibiotic resistant strains of the STI are becoming much harder, and sometimes, impossible to treat – a fact which was confirmed by Dr Teodora Wi.
The medical professional who is an officer in human reproduction at WHO, said the bacteria that cause gonorrhea are particularly smart.
In his words: “Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them.”
Dr Wi continued, “And some countries, especially where incomes are high and STI tests are common, are finding cases that cannot be treated using all known antibiotics.”
However, the seasoned medical doctor said it’s worrying that the vast majority of cases are in poorer countries where resistance is harder to detect.
“These cases may just be the tip of the iceberg,” Dr Wi added, “since systems to diagnose and report untreatable infections are lacking in lower-income countries where gonorrhea is actually more common.”
About 78 million sexually-active people are infected with gonorrhea each year, according to WHO, and the infection has been rated “a second most common form of STI” in England.
Symptoms of gonorrhea appear in the genital area, rectum and throat, with a thick green or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis, including pain or a burning sensation when peeing and pain or tenderness in the lower abdomen.