Cases of drug-resistant gonorrhea infection have quadrupled in the United States in the last years. The CDC warns that if patients don’t stop abusing antibiotic medication, the present treatment options for the disease will no longer be efficient, transforming the sexually transmitted disease into a bigger threat than it has to be.
Jonathan Mermin, CDC National Center director, declared that the country’s medical experts could experience problems in finding alternative cures for the STD if the drug-resistant gonorrhea strain continues to spread.
“The confluence of emerging drug resistance and very limited alternative options for treatment creates a perfect storm for future gonorrhea treatment failure in the United States,” declared the director of the CDC HIV/AIDS, STD, Tuberculosis Prevention, and Viral Hepatitis National Center.
Mermin also pointed out that throughout history bacteria strains always found efficient ways to survive the effect of the antibiotics used to combat them. Now, the drug-resistant strain only shows that the bacteria evolved yet again. Currently, there are only a few drugs left that are efficient in treating the disorder.
For the moment, there hasn’t been a single US case registered where antibiotic treatment was not, at least, partially useful. However, the CDC is concerned that the drugs that were usually highly effective in combating the venereal disease have lost their advantage over the bacterial infection.
It seems that azithromycin, tetracycline, fluoroquinolones, and penicillin lost their potency, the disease cleverly adapting itself to the routine treatment. Currently, doctors are administering a cocktail of ceftriaxone and azithromycin to infected patients. The medication is working, for the moment, but it’s a matter of time until the disease finds a way of bypassing the mix.
“It is unclear how long the combination therapy of azithromycin and ceftriaxone will be effective if the increases in resistance persist,” declared Gail Bolan, CDC STD Prevention Division director.
Gonorrhea, unfortunately, is often asymptomatic. However, those who do not show any symptoms are still highly contagious.
For women, typical symptoms are a burning sensation during the urination process, a slightly green, creamy, watery vaginal discharge, a more frequent need to urinate. Spotting or heavier periods, sore throat, abdominal pain, and fever.
In the case of men, gonorrhea manifests itself through a greater urgency and frequency of urination, a greenish, beige, white, or yellow penile discharge, redness or swelling on the penis’ opening and in the testicles, and a sore throat.
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