The 'sex superbug' called H041 was first discovered in Japan in 2011.
Daily Mail, May 5, 2013
Health officials are warning that the effects of a so-called 'sex superbug' could match those of AIDS.
The 'sex superbug' called H041 was first discovered in Japan in 2011. Peter Whiticir with the State Department of Health says advisories have been sent to physicians and health care providers around Hawaii to be on the lookout for the resistant strain of gonorrhea.
Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in North America.
Dangerous infection: Health officials are warning about a new strain of gonorrhea discovered in Japan
While earlier reports stated that the drug-resistant strain of gonorrhea was discovered in Hawaii in 2011, doctors were able to cure the young woman who contracted the infection using alternative treatments.
So far, there have been no treatment failures reported in the U.S. for gonorrhea treated with first-line treatment regimens recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
‘This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly,’ Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine told CNBC.
30 million people have died from AIDS related causes worldwide, but
Christianson believes the effect of the gonorrhea bacteria is more
‘Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days,’ Christianson said. ‘This is very dangerous.’
In a briefing on Capitol Hill last
week, William Smith, executive director of the National Coalition for
STD Directors, urged Congress to target nearly $54million in immediate
funding to conduct an education
and public awareness campaign.
There was no request made for additional funding for research to help find an alternative antibiotic for the new gonorrhea strain, as it was previously reported.
In an email to MailOnline this week, Stephanie S. Arnold Pang, of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said that the FDA is now working to encourage the development of treatments for serious or life-threatening infections caused by bacteria.
'NCSD is currently working to ensure that gonorrhea is on the list of ‘approved pathogens’ eligible for a new pathway to quicker drug approval,' she wrote.
There are fears in the scientific community that the new 'superbug' could rival AIDS
Although no deaths from HO41 have been reported as yet, experts say avoiding the disease completely is the best course of action.
need to practice safe sex, like always,’ Christianson said. ‘Anyone
beginning a new relationship should get tested along with their partner.
'The way gonorrhea works, not everyone knows they have it. And with this new strain it's even more important than ever to find out.’
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that has been known since medieval times. Sometimes known as ‘the clap,’ the infection can result in painful sores and genital discharge, and is associated with ectopic pregnancies and sterility in both men and women.
Left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to a host of complications including pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and blood stream infections.
It also raises the risk for HIV because the lesions permit the AIDS-causing virus easier access to the bloodstream.
Gonorrhea is especially common among people between the ages of 15 and 24.
The disease became curable in the 1940s when penicillin and other antibiotics were introduced. Since then, the medical world has created more new drugs that killed the ever-mutating gonorrhea bacteria.
Health officials said there is the very real prospect that all types of gonorrhea will soon become untreatable
a state-by-state basis, pockets of the U.S. are seeing giant spikes in
the disease. Utah saw a 74 percent rise in gonorrhea cases in 2012, with
the trend continuing into the first few months of this year.
In Minnesota, cases rose 35 percent in 2012, according to the state's department of health, and according to the latest statistics from the CDC, ‘During 2010–2011, 61% (31/51) of states, plus the District of Columbia, reported an increase in gonorrhea rates.’
the last available class of antibiotics recommended for the treatment
of gonorrhea, has been failing worldwide and there is the very real prospect that all types of gonorrhea will soon become untreatable.
Professor Cathy Ison, head of the National Reference Laboratory for Gonorrhoea in the U.K. told the BBC last week: ‘There is a possibility that if we don't do something then it could become untreatable by 2015.’
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