Thursday 23 November 2017

Getting amorous at the World Cup? Experts issue a concern over super resistant gonorrhoea detected in England

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

An outbreak of drug resistant gonorrhoea has been detected in the north of England which might be cause of concern to rugby fans heading to the UK for the World Cup.

The specific strain of the infection has proven to be resistant to the azithromycin, typically used to treat gonorrhoea which is an issue of concern according to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV.

Fifteen cases have been detected by Public Health England (PHE), the first of which was detected in Leeds in March 2015.

The outbreak has since spread to other parts of the country including Macclesfield, Oldham and Scunthorpe.

Those affected are heterosexual, and some have partners in other parts of Britain.

In a statement the PHE said: "An outbreak control team meeting has been convened and STBRU are currently performing next generation sequencing on these strains to better understand the molecular epidemiology."

"PHE is concerned that the effectiveness of current front-line dual therapy for gonorrhoea will be threatened if this resistant strain continues to spread unchecked."

Although fifteen cases may seem insignificant, Bristol-based Sexual Health Consultant Peter Greenhouse revealed that the situation is quite problematic.

"It doesn't sound like an awful lot of people, but the implication is there's a lot more of this strain out there and we need to stamp it out as quickly as possible,” he told the BBC.

"If this becomes the predominant strain in the UK we're in big trouble, so we have to be really meticulous in making sure each of these individuals has all their contacts traced and treated."

Under 10pc of men and 50pc of women do not experience symptoms with gonorrhoea, which means the condition can often go untreated for some time.

Untreated gonorrhoea can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and can be passed on to babies during child birth.

Dr Mike Gent from Public Health England said in a statement: "We can confirm investigations are under way.

"Those affected are being treated with an alternative antibiotic, but the resistance to first-line treatment remains a concern.

"The bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are known to mutate and develop new resistance, so we cannot afford to be complacent."

Practising safe sex, including the use of condoms, can protect you from gonorrhoea.

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