May 25, 2013
Gonorrhea ‘Superbugs’ Tearing Path Across the Globe
Posted on Jun 6, 2012
Drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea, including one reported in Japan in 2008, have spread to countries around the world, infecting more than 100 million people a year, in part because symptoms have become harder to detect, the World Health Organization says.
Britain, Australia, France, Norway and Sweden have reported cases of the sexually transmitted disease that are resistant to cephalosporin antibiotics. Untreated, gonorrhea can lead to ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, stillbirth, severe eye infections in newborns and male and female infertility.
Roughly 700,000 new cases are reported in the United States each year. The disease remains most prevalent in parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Millions of patients worldwide will be left without treatment options if doctors cannot catch and treat the disease earlier.
Experts say the emergence of the drug-resistant strain is due to poorly controlled access to and overuse of antibiotics, which encourages bacteria to evolve to withstand the drugs.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly
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