Gonorrhoea No Longer Treatable
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What’s more unfortunate is that many lower economic countries, where there are more chances of people getting affected by gonorrhoea, don’t enough resources to diagnose the infection.
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Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. In men, gonorrhoea brings symptoms like burning sensation during urination, discharge from the penis, and testicular pain. In women, its symptoms are very much similar to those of a yeast infection. The symptoms include vaginal discharge, pain or burning sensation during urination, the need to urinate more frequently, heavier periods or spotting, pain during sexual intercourse, and sharp pain in the lower abdomen. This bacterial infection has long been easily treated with antibiotics, but gonorrhoea is increasingly becoming resistant to available drug treatments.
“The bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are particularly smart. Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them,” said Dr Teodora Wi, medical officer of human reproduction at the World Health Organization (WHO).
Penicillin and various tetracyclines stopped working against the infections in the 1980s. A few years later, fluoroquinolone was also deemed useless. And now it’s being reported that cephalosporins—the last available antibiotics to treat gonorrhoea—are on verge of losing its effectivity.
“Gonorrhoea has developed resistance to nearly all of the antibiotics used for its treatment. We are currently down to one last recommended and effective class of antibiotics, cephalosporins, to treat this common infection. This is an urgent public health threat because gonorrhoea control in the United States largely relies on our ability to successfully treat the infection,” reads a statement published in JAMA by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a study on 77 countries and was alarmed after seeing the widespread resistance that gonorrhoea patients have developed to ciprofloxacin.
What’s more unfortunate is that many lower economic countries, where there are more chances of people getting affected by gonorrhoea, don’t have enough resources to diagnose the infection, “These cases may just be the tip of the iceberg, since systems to diagnose and report untreatable infections are lacking in lower-income countries where gonorrhoea is actually more common,” said Dr Wi of WHO.
Being a sexually transmitted disease, gonorrhoea can be prevented by practising safe sex and by maintaining proper oral and sexual hygiene.