Drug-resistant gonorrhea. Those are absolutely three words that you never want to hear strung together into a horrifying phrase, but that is the world we live in. Thanks, Trump! I mean, he probably has something to do with it. Right? Anybody?
The rumors are true. If you read in Drug Resistant Venereal Diseases magazine that there was super-gonnorhea going around, then those rumors have been borne out (okay DRVD mag isn’t a real thing…) But officials did in fact report a strain of super-resistant gonorrhea in the United Kingdom when it was found that a doctor had treated a man with the STD with the most common antibiotics typically used for gonorrhea — azithromycin and ceftriaxone — but the STD survived! Its just chillin’. Strong as ever. Terrifying.
Gwenda Hughes, who leads the STI section at Public Health England, said Wednesday, “This is the first time a case has displayed such high-level resistance to both of these drugs and to most other commonly used antibiotics.”
Health officials have been warning people that gonorrhea is becoming increasingly difficult to cure for quite awhile now, and in 2017 alone three cases of gonorrhea that were unresponsive to antibiotics were reported. The World Health Organization has explained that “gonorrhea is a very smart bug, [and] every time you introduce a new type of antibiotic to treat it, this bug develops resistance to it.”
Due to the fact that gonorrhea is very common, this is particularly worrisome. According to the CDC, there are approximately 820,000 new cases of gonorrhea in the United States alone each year. The latest reported case, according to David Harvey who is the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors “is one more confirmation of our greatest fear: drug-resistant gonorrhea spreading around the globe.”
Most people will not experience symptoms to gonorrhea. In other words, gonorrhea presents invisibly. Therefore, because it often does not appear with symptoms, regular STD screenings and consistently using condoms are the best ways to prevent the spread of gonorrhea, and avoid increased drug-resistance.