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Gonorrhea Plaguing Humanity Again with New Resistance to Two Drugs

A scary reality that only proves how dangerous STI’s can be.

Ginny Dang

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According to British Health officials, a patient in the U.K recently was diagnosed with a particular strain of gonorrhea that is resistant to ceftriaxone and azithromycin, part of a larger drug family effective in treating the disease. Public Health England also confirmed that this is the very first report of a gonorrhea case resistant to this pair of drugs. 

Since 2016, the World Health Organization has announced that the world running out of ways to treat gonorrhea. According to WHO, it is estimated that each year 78 million people are infected with gonorrhea, 131 million with chlamydia and 5.6 million with syphilis. 

Back in 2012, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasized that only one family of drugs – cephalosporins – was still useful in treating gonorrhea, but one  specific strain within this family was at risk of becoming useless for treatment. From then on, the CDC highly recommended doctors to prescribe a dual treatment of this family of drugs: both ceftriaxone and azithromycin.

The patient in the UK was treated with this pair of drugs for a while, until his throat swab still showed positive after treatment. His medication has now  been replaced with ertapenem, related to ceftriaxone. Health officials are waiting to come to a final conclusion whether it’s effective or not. 

Gonorrhea, along with chlamydia and syphilis, are the most rampant sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and are becoming mutable quickly. These STIs are defending themselves against being eliminated, and will do nothing to stop.

WHO and CDC regularly release new treatment guidelines for these STIs. Gonorrhea increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy in women, infertility in any genders and the chances of getting HIV. Many women who have contracted the infection will not have any symptoms, or may mistake their symptoms for a common bladder infection. Not treating gonorrhea could lead to serious complications.

Editor’s note: If you think you may have an STI, please consult a doctor for immediate treatment. 

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Ginny is a junior Psychology major at Trinity College. She aspires to cultivate the spirit of a journalist and an essayist in her quest to become a writer.

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