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WHO issues warning about rise of drug-resistant gonorrhoea

CONCERNING: Rise in drug-resistant gonorrhoea

"GONORRHOEA FAST fast becoming 'untreatable', WHO experts warn," reports Sky News.

Analysis of data from 77 countries by the World Health Organization (WHO) found antibiotic resistance exists against almost all antibiotics currently used to treat the sexually transmitted infection (STI) gonorrhoea.

In the past, gonorrhoea infections were treated effectively with a one-off dose of antibiotics.

Nowadays, gonorrhoea needs to be treated with both an antibiotic injection and a dose of antibiotic tablets.

And increased resistance to antibiotics, coupled with a lack of new treatments in the pipeline, raises concerns that the infection could be untreatable in the future.

This is concerning, as untreated gonorrhoea in women can cause complications that can lead to infertility and miscarriage.

In this study, a WHO group outlined a new strategy to support the research and development of new treatments for gonorrhoea.

What is Gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea is the second most common STI in the UK. It's caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and can be transmitted easily through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex, infecting the genitals, back passage, and sometimes the eyes or throat.

Usual symptoms include an abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis, pain when passing urine, and bleeding in between periods in women.

Treatment involves an antibiotic injection and a single dose of antibiotic tablets.

But many people get no symptoms, so gonorrhoea can go unnoticed and untreated, which can lead to serious complications.

Around 10-20% of women can get pelvic inflammatory disease from gonorrhoea, which can then affect their fertility.

Gonorrhoea in pregnancy can also be transmitted to the infant, which can lead to newborn conjunctivitis and even threaten a baby's eyesight.

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