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Published: May 14, 2013
Speaking to CNBC recently, Mr Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine said “This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly.”
“Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days,” Christianson said. “This is very dangerous.”
Global Threat & Monitoring
The UN’s World Health Organisation is urging governments and health-care practitioners to step up surveillance of drug-resistant gonorrhoea, a bacterial infection that can cause inflammation, infertility, pregnancy complications and in extreme cases, lead to maternal death. Children born to mothers with gonorrhoea have a 50% chance of developing eye infections that can have blindness as a consequence.
Although discovered in 2009, to date the new gonorrhoea superbug, known as HO41, has not killed anyone or spread outside Japan. Action to curtail its global spread is imperative.
In the United Kingdom, Health delivery experts continue to be concerned by the destructive nature of gonorrhoea which has become increasingly difficult to treat. It is believed that this strain may eventually become incurable in the next few years.
England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, recently counselled the British Government to include the threat posed by drug-resistant gonorrhoea to the civil emergencies register.
Dame Professor Davies said “We have seen a worrying rise in cases of drug resistant gonorrhoea over the last decade.”
The UK’s Health Protection Agency says that the risk of getting or transmitting gonorrhoea is reduced by:
•Always using a condom correctly and consistently when having sex with new or casual partners until all partners have had a sexual health screen
•Avoiding overlapping sexual relationships and reducing the number of sexual partners
•Getting screened regularly if you are in one of the higher risk groups. Men who have sex with men should have an HIV and STI screen at least annually, and every three months if having unprotected sex with new or casual partners.
Statistics on the Gonorrhoea superbug monitoring from countries like Zimbabwe were unavailable at the point of publishing.