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Gonorrhea May Become a Terminal Disease

Update Date: Dec 28, 2015 09:56 AM EST

Over the years, growing resistance of Gonorrhea to antibiotics has exposed the disease to the risk of becoming terminal. The new strain of Gonorrhea that has surfaced recently has shown resistance to antibiotic treatments which is normally give to the patients who are suffering from the condition. The outbreak of this new strain started in Leeds with some cases reported in Oldham, Scunthorpe and Macclesfield. There were other patients who also reportedly had sexual partners from other parts of England. So far, all the cases reported have been transmitted through an intercourse between heterosexual couples. Previously, gonorrhea was treatable by taking two antibiotics together, ceftriaxone and azithromycin. However, the new strain is resistant to azithromycin element of the treatment which makes the disease untreatable, reports Independent.

Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, has written to the GPs and pharmacies to ensure that the correct drugs have been prescribed after the super-gonorrhea breakout in Leeds. Sexual health doctors have expressed concerns about the disease's rapidly developing resistance to the antibiotics. In March, the highly-drug resistant strain of gonorrhea was reported in North England. In her letter, the chief medical officer said: "Gonorrhoea is at risk of becoming an untreatable disease due to the continuing emergence of antimicrobial resistance." Due to this reason, the ceftriaxone injection that was to be used in conjunction with the azithromycin pill may not be helpful for all the cases, according to BBC News.

By using only one of the two drugs can make the bacterium develop a resistance. The letter, also signed by the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Dr. Keith Ridge said, "Gonorrhoea has rapidly acquired resistance to new antibiotics, leaving few alternatives to the current recommendations. It is therefore extremely important that suboptimal treatment does not occur," as reported by The Telegraph.

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