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The 'superbug' living in the UK - Gonorrhea

10 July 2017

 

If you regularly read the news you might have seen some attention-grabbing headlines splashed across the papers:

"Untreatable gonorrhoea 'superbug' spreading around world, Who warns" The Guardian

"Oral sex is leading to a rise in untreatable super-gonorrhoea" The Independent

"Oral sex is causing the spread of untreatable 'SUPER gonorrhoea', World Health Organisation warns" The Daily Mail

Gonorrhoea is a tough bug to crack. Able to become resistant to antibiotics, there have been three cases in the world where antibiotics has had no effect. Gonorrhoea is usually treated with a single antibiotic injection and four oral antibiotic tablets. With effective treatment, most symptoms should improve within a few days.

But this bug is staying one step ahead of the game by becoming resistance to first step, second step and even third step antibiotics. The tricky bit has come about because gonorrhea can be transmitted not just through vaginal, oral or anal sex, but as well as through sharing sex toys that have not been washed properly or even touch.

Many of those who contract the disease experience no symptoms, but if left untreated the disease can cause infertility and, in pregnant women, puts babies at risk of blindness.  

It's not all doom and gloom. We are going to list some ways you can help stop the spread of gonorrhoea:

  •  use a male or female condom every time you have sex
  • use a condom to cover the penis or a latex or plastic square to cover the female genitals if you have oral sex
  • don't share sex toys! or wash them thoroughly and cover them with a new condom before anyone else uses them.

 

You can read more about gonorrhoea here.