Two cases of multi-drug resistant gonorrhea are detected in Western Australia and Queensland. This came as the first patient diagnosed with the disease was cured in UK.
Australia's Department of Health said that evidence suggested that one of the two patients acquired the disease after traveling in Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile, the UK patient who became the first person with the super gonorrhea strain has luckily been cured. Incidentally, the person had also contracted the infection from Southeast Asia.
Dr. Gwenda Hughes, Consultant Scientist and Head of Sexually Transmitted Infection Section at Public Health England, confirmed that the man was cured by the antibiotic ertapenem.
The doctor adds that the two recent cases of super gonorrhea in Australia are a timely reminder that more cases of multi-drug resistant gonorrhea are expected in the future.
Super Gonorrhea Spreading In Countries
While drug-resistant gonorrhea is being reported in many countries, the cases in the two Australians, including the person in UK, is the first ever strain that is resistant to all routine antibiotics. Two antibiotics, namely azithromycin, and ceftriaxone, have previously been effective against the sexually transmitted disease.
Generally, there has been growth in cases of antibiotic-resistant diseases or what is commonly referred to as "superbugs." These highly resistant strains occur because of the misuse of antibiotics. People who are prescribed antibiotics usually did not finish the recommended duration of their intake. Another misuse is that antibiotics are available over the counter, particularly in the third world countries.
Super Gonorrhea Prevention
The best way to prevent gonorrhea is to practice safe sex, says the Department of Health in Australia. The department also advises using condoms when engaging in all types of sexual activity. People who have new sexual partners are highly recommended to get tested regularly.
As of September 2017, before the above-mentioned cases in Australia and UK, the recommended treatment regimen from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the dual therapy consisting of ceftriaxone and azithromycin. The UK patient, however, was resistant to both treatments.
Gonorrhea In The United States
Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported disease in the United States, and CDC has estimated that 820,000 new infections may actually occur each year. Thirty percent of new gonorrhea infections each year are resistant to at least one drug.
In 2013, CDC released the Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States report. It is the first report to look at threats by antibiotic-resistance diseases. The report listed antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea among the three most urgent threats of its kind in the country.