An Austrian man was infected with a strain of ‘super gonorrhea’ which has become a major global threat. The man was on a trip to Cambodia in April when he had unprotected sex with a prostitute, which led to the disease.
He realized he was unwell when he returned to Austria and felt a burning sensation while urinating and noticed a discharge from his penis.
After medical tests it was discovered that she had developed gonorrhea and was instructed to take standard antibiotics. The drugs caused his symptoms to disappear but he still tested positive, meaning the treatment failed.
Doctors treating him said the gonorrhea strain was “largely drug resistant” and not the same as before. He said that if it was allowed to spread unchecked, it would make gonorrhea incurable.
Dr Sonja Plininger of the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, who wrote the report, said the strain is a ‘major global public health threat’.
“If such strains manage to establish a sustained transmission, many gonorrhea cases may go unreported,” news outlets Khmer Times and Daily Mail quoted Pleininger as saying.
After the discovery of a new strain in the Asia-Pacific, the fear of a super gonorrhea strain increased. Ceftriaxone, usually injected into the thigh or buttocks, is the prescribed treatment for gonorrhea, but the new strain appears to be resistant to it.
If left untreated it can lead to infertility and potentially life-threatening pelvic inflammatory disease in women. Fears that it may gain more resistance and become unusable have also increased following the findings.
The symptoms of gonorrhea and super gonorrhea are the same – pain when urinating, thick yellow or green discharge from the genitals, and abnormal bleeding between periods in women.
In pregnant women, it can cause permanent blindness in newborns.
Using contraceptives can help reduce your chances of catching a sexually transmitted disease.
The man later tested negative when he was given a dose of amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, a combination antibiotic treatment, for a week.
However, the Cambodian sex worker remains untraceable, raising the risk that someone else could be infected and spread the disease.
Over the years, gonorrhea strains have developed resistance to antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, ceftriaxone, cefixime and azithromycin.
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