WHO: STD Superbug Crisis Is Real

Wednesday, 06 Jun 2012 10:35 PM

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A major sexually transmitted superbug that does not respond to antibiotics has been appearing around the world, including in industrialized countries, the World Health Organization officials warned.

The STD is a form of gonorrhea. One of the most common sexually-transmitted infections, gonorrhea is spread through oral, vaginal and anal sex. About 106 million people worldwide become infected every year.

"Once this organism develops full resistance to this last antibiotic that we have, we have nothing else to offer to these patients,"  Dr. Manjula Lusti-Narasimhan, scientist at the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at WHO tells CNN.

WHO released a global actiaon plan to raise awareness, advocacy and to increase research and prevention efforts.

Australia, France, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom are among the countries reporting cases of gonorrhea that does not respond to cephalosporin antibiotics, which is the last treatment option against gonorrhea. These are developed countries with good health care systems, meaning countries less well off may be even more at risk for a crisis.

"If the resistence is there, what we think is that we're sitting at a tip of an iceberg," Lusti-Narasimhan said. "For places in many other parts of the world where there are much less both human and financial resources, it's very difficult to know the extent of the data."

If left untreated, in both men and women, it can cause infertility. Up to half of babies born from mothers with gonorrhea have severe eye infections, which could lead to blindness. Women who are pregnant may have spontaneous abortions or ectopic pregnancies. If the bacteria gets to other parts of the body, joint pain, swelling and stiffness are possible,


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