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World's first recorded case of treatment-resistant super-gonorrhoea diagnosed in UK

Drugs that are normally effective at treating the disease didn’t work for this man.

Image: Shutterstock/charnsitr

A MAN IN the UK has become the first recorded case of having treatment-resistant super-gonorrhoea.

He is said to have picked up the disease after a sexual encounter with a woman in south-east Asia.

His case is the first time that the infection has proven unable to cure using first choice antibiotics, Public Health England said.

Symptoms are not always easily identifiable with gonorrhoea but can include a thick green or yellow discharge from sexual organs, and pain when urinating. It can lead to infertility, and can be passed onto a child during pregnancy.

Dr Gwenda Hughes, from Public Health England, said: “This is the first time a case has displayed such high-level resistance to both of these drugs (azithromycin and ceftriaxone) and to most other commonly used antibiotics.

We are following up this case to ensure that the infection was effectively treated with other options and the risk of any onward transmission is minimised.

Doctors in England have previously expressed fears that it’s only a matter of time before the main drugs used to treat the superbug fail and the threat of treatment-resistant super-gonorrhoea in Ireland has been flagged before.

Dr Fiona Lyons, the HSE national clinical lead on sexual health, told the News at One on RTÉ in April 2016: “It’s something that within the HSE and within the laboratories and clinics around Ireland we’ve been taking seriously for a long time.

We’re very much keeping up to date with it but it is a serious threat.

Lyons added: “At a public health level this needs to be taken very seriously.”

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Public Health England said that the best way to avoid getting or passing on gonorrhoea, or any other sexually transmitted disease, in the first place is to wear condoms consistently and correctly with all new and casual partners.

Anyone who thinks they may be at risk is urged to seek an STI screen, it added.

Read: Super-gonorrhoea a ‘serious threat’ in Ireland

Read: Gonorrhoea ‘sometimes impossible’ to treat due to antibiotic-resistance – WHO

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Sean Murray

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