Just when you thought it might be safe to have sex again, the United Nations health agency warned today that one of the old, *yawn*, easily curable STD’s has turned nasty. First turning up in Japan in 2008, this drug-resistant “superbug” strain of gonorrhea has now been reported in Australia, France, Norway, Sweden and Britain. It is not only resistant to the normal range of antibiotics commonly used to treat the disease, but also to cephalosporin antibiotics – normally the last option for drugs against gonorrhoea.
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection which, if left untreated, can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirths, severe eye infections in babies, and infertility in both men and women.
It is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world, with an estimated 106 million infections every year. In the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cases is estimated at around 700,000 a year.
Francis Ndowa, formerly the WHO’s lead specialist for sexually transmitted infections, said gonorrhoea has not only adapted to elude antibiotics but developed less painful symptoms, increasing its survival chances.