Gonorrhea, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), could soon become an “untreatable disease”, United Kingdom health experts have warned.
The drug resistant bug was first identified in Leeds, the UK, in March this year and caused quite an alarm, as doctors and medical experts battled to contain it and curb its spread to other parts.
Over the years, according to the Centre for Disease Control, gonorrhea has progressively developed resistance to the antibiotic drugs prescribed to treat it.
Also referred to as “The Clap,” (thought to come from the French word “clapier” which means brothel or because an old-school treatment was to “clap” a gonorrhea-infected penis with a heavy object in order to cure the infection), gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that can be passed on through unprotected oral, vaginal and anal sex.
According to UK media, England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has written to all general practitioners and pharmacies to ensure they are prescribing the correct drugs, after the rise of “super-gonorrhea”.
Sexual health doctors are also warning that gonorrhea was “rapidly” developing resistance to drugs.
That strain is able to shrug off the antibiotic azithromycin, which is normally used alongside another drug, ceftriaxone.
Following news about the super gonorhoea, the social media has been awash with gory pictures of patients allegedly suffering from this strain. They have a nasty spiky rash all over their body.
Early this year, the National Aids Council (NAC) said the unabated rise in cases of STIs throughout the country was an indication that people were not practising safe sex, while an increase in repeat cases may be a sign of drug resistance to the epidemic.
Recently, statistics from NAC revealed that Chiredzi, which is largely surrounded by sugar plantations, had the highest number of new STIs in Masvingo province.
By the third quarter of this year, the district had recorded 6 311 cases of STIs.
It has also been noted that during the festive season, cases of STIs spike, an indication of possible irresponsible behaviour.
“We urge everyone to exercise control and behave responsibly during the festive season,” NAC spokesperson Tadiwa Pfupa said.