A new strain of gonorrhea is spreading quickly to countries all around the world, and scientists fear that it could become a global health threat. They're calling it a 'superbug' because it is resistant to all antibiotics used to treat the STD. Yikes. Just in case you needed a reminder of why it's important to practice safe sex, this is a pretty good one.
Photo courtesy of cdc.gov.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Health Agency are afraid that millions of patients could run out of treatment options for this "once easily treatable" disease. Scientists discovered this 'superbug' gonorrhea strain in Japan a few years ago, but suddenly new cases are popping up in several more countries, namely Australia, France, Norway, Sweden, and Britain. This strain is resistant to a type of antibiotics that WHO says is "normally the last option" for treatment.
A spokesperson for WHO said, "Gonorrhea is becoming a major public health challenge" with more that 106 million people infected every year. The disease can have serious long-term effects, even if symptoms are few, especially for women. Experts say they are working on developing new drugs, as well as exploring the possibility of combining antibiotics. Although WHO did not include the United States in their list of countries with higher rates of infection of the superbug, it is still extremely important to be careful, and get tested regularly--for everyone's sake.