An outbreak of “Super Gonorrhea” in North England has triggered a national public health alert. Experts warn that this strain will be difficult to treat. This week, LetsGetChecked tells you what you need to know about super gonorrhea.


What You Need To Know About Super Gonorrhea Right Now

An outbreak of “Super Gonorrhea” in North England has triggered a national public health alert. Experts warn that this strain will be difficult to treat.

Ireland and the UK report the highest rates of Gonorrhea in the EU. The STI has increased in prevalence in recent years. It is a bacterial infection that can be passed on through unprotected oral, vaginal and anal sex.

What is Super Gonorrhea?

“Super Gonorrhea” is a strain of the infection that is growing resistance to antibiotics. The Public Health England (PHE) organisation confirmed that highly resistant cases of the infection have previously been rare, so this outbreak has come as a shock.

Gonorrhea infections represent 88 million new cases of STIs which occur globally every year. The World Health Organization has declared Gonorrhea a global concern and warned that without new drugs, infections may become untreatable.

Gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health issues in both men and women, including infertility. It can also blind babies delivered normally if their mother is infected. Untreated gonorrhea may also increase your chances of contracting HIV.

The infection has a history of becoming resistant to certain antibiotics, Gonorrhea was one of the most sensitive bacteria at the start of the antibiotic era, when patients could be cured with tiny doses of penicillin. But, since penicillin was first used in the 1940s, Gonorrhea bacteria developed a resistance to antibiotics that have been used to treat them.

Get Checked for Gonorrhea

Since 2011, the recommended first-line treatment for gonorrhea relies on two antibiotics including an injected dose of ceftriaxone and an oral dose of azithromycin.

If resistance to either antibiotic accumulates and tips above the 5% threshold, there are no licensed antibiotics left for reliable treatment. This could lead to increasing numbers of infections and poorer outcomes. There are new antibiotics in development, but they are some time away from the clinic, with no guarantees that they will succeed.

Fifteen cases have been confirmed by Public Health England. 80% of women and 50% of men who have gonorrhea don’t have any symptoms. The symptoms can take over two weeks develop.

While abstaining from sex is the only surefire way to protect yourself, it’s not a practical solution. Ensuring you use condoms every time you have sexual contact including oral sex, greatly reduces your risk of contracting the infection. It is very important to Get Checked for STIs regularly, particularly when you change sexual partner.

Learn About Gonorrhea With Dr. Dominic Rowley

Written by Hannah Kingston | Approved by Medical Director Dominic Rowley