Untreatable gonorrhea cases growing across world

A new strain resists treatment by antibiotics, and health officials are concerned.

It's a sexually transmitted disease that infects the genitals, rectum and throat.

We're talking about gonorrhea.

The World Health Organization or "WHO" looked at data from 77 countries and found at least three cases in other countries where gonorrhea isn't responding to antibiotics.

Doctors in the report call the bacteria that causes gonorrhea "intelligent" and say it's evolving quickly. It doesn't have a new name - it's still called "Neisseria Gonorrhoeae" and they're still not sure how the strains have evolved.

But doctors warn its evolving means antibiotics are becoming less effective.

The WHO has a surveillance program that monitors trends in drug-resistant gonorrhea.

They noticed from 2009 to 2014 resistance to different antibiotics like ciprofloxacin and azithromycin.

So now the WHO is telling doctors in some countries to give their patients a combination of the two...in order to fight off the superbug.

The report also says the current pipeline for gonorrhea treatments is relatively empty, with only three new chemical entities in various stage of development.

The WHO estimates worldwide 78 million people a year get gonorrhea. It says while gonorrhea is not usually deadly, it can lead to serious health problems like infertility and pelvic inflamation disease.

So far this year we've had 1,037 gonorrhea cases in Hillsborough County and 617 cases in Pinellas. Last year, there were 2,345 cases in Hillsborough County and 1,562 cases in Pinellas.
 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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