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The WHO warns that gonorrhoea could soon become untreatable

Published on 08/06/2012

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that there could soon be no effective treatment against the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea.

In its third warning about gonorrhoea in three years, the WHO made an appeal to the global medical community for ‘greater vigilance’ when prescribing antibiotics for the condition.

The WHO said several countries had reported cases of gonorrhoea resistant to the last line of antibiotics, called cephalosporins. These countries include Japan, Britain, Australia, France, Sweden and Norway.

Untreated gonorrhoea can cause serious and permanent health problems. In women, the infection can spread to the womb or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease, and it can cause infertility in both sexes.

Gonorrhoea can also spread to the blood or joints and become life-threatening.

Dr Lusti-Narasimhan from the World Health Organisation said: "We are very concerned about recent reports of treatment failure from the last effective treatment option - the class of cephalosporin antibiotics - as there are no new therapeutic drugs in development."

An estimated 25,000 people die each year in the European Union from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. This figure will increase if gonorrhoea becomes untreatable. The STD is the most second common in the UK after chlamydia.

Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the STD Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said: “If individuals use condoms consistently and correctly, you can prevent the transmission of gonorrhoea.”

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

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