Gonorrhoea Becoming Resistant to Antibiotics

Australian Superbug

A “Sex Superbug” has recently been found in a South European tourist in Australia. The tourist was found with a powerful new form of a drug-resistant strain of gonorrhoea.  It is the most highly resistant strain ever detected in Australia and has put clinics in the region at high alert. The tourist reportedly came in contact with the disease in Sydney.

And yet, this is not the first alert of a highly resistant strain of gonorrhoea. Other strains of this easily transmitted disease have sparked warnings in Japan in recent years, known as the H041. The strain of the sexually transmitted disease was also reported to be found in Hawaii, California and Norway in 2011. More details on this superbug can be found at this website.

Modes of Transmission

Gonorrhoea is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoea and although relatively rare, it is considered to be a major sexual health concern; growing and reproducing in warm, damp areas within the reproductive tract, such as the uterus, cervix and fallopian tubes in women as well as in the urethra in both sexes. Other areas include the mouth, throat and anus. Gonorrhoea is a common STI in the UK. Public Health England informed that new cases of diagnosis in England increased by 21 per cent to 25,525 in its latest figures in 2012, after another significant rise in 2011. The good news is that it is normally easily treated with antibiotics which are prescribed when and if you have been diagnosed. However, if left untreated, this awful infection can lead to some significantly life changing issues such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, as well as blindness if it gets in the eye. Neonate blindness used to be quite common as it was passed from mother to baby in the birth canal.

Gonorrhoea is an easily transmitted disease which can be caught through unprotected oral or penetrative sex. It can reach the throat and eyes as well as sexual organs, causing them to be infected.

Although the symptoms are often silent in women, this infection can lead to some devastating long-term effects, which can cause painful pelvic disease in women and infertility in both sexes. These symptoms include a burning feeling during peeing, obvious increase in discharge in both women and men, and for women, vaginal bleeding in between periods.

Getting Tested

If you are showing symptoms and are worried about having Gonorrhoea or any STI, it is advised that you visit a local GUM Clinic or an online STI clinic. This can be seen as a gentle reminder to those of you who are sexually active or getting into a new sexual relationship, to regularly get yourself checked.  Don’t risk catching this infection which can potentially be a significant life changer if left untreated. More information on gonorrhoea and access to tests can be found here.