In sex education classes across America, health educations warn teenagers of the dangers of unprotected sex. Sexually transmitted diseases like herpes and HIV/AIDS have no cure. The STD gonorrhea could also be added to that precarious list, says the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control (CDC). It is growing resistant to its current therapy.
According a CDC report, the STD gonorrhea is among what they call other ‘superbugs’ that are resistant to common antibiotics. What this means for those infected is that health officials are now recommending stronger class of drugs, such as cephalosporins.
In an April 12 Associated Press news story, the reporter writes that the CDC released a survey whose results showed that one in every four gonorrhea cases were resistant to the common antibiotics, such as fluroquinolones like Cipro. The survey looked at gonorrhea-infected heterosexual men in 26 cities, and revealed that seven-percent were resistant to the common treatments. The highest percentage of drug-resistant cases was shown in Philadelphia. There were also alarming rates in Miami and Atlanta.
The treatment of gonorrhea has a wide history. The CDC says that in the 1930s and 40s it was treated with sulfa drugs. Later, it was penicillin. Since the 80s, as noted before, its the fluroquinolones class of antibiotics.
A Look at Gonorrhea:
The CDC estimates that over 700,000 in the United States each year become infected with the STD gonorrhea, the highest numbers coming from young adults. In fact, gonorrhea is the second most contracted infectious disease, right behind chlamydia. Chlamydia, says the CDC, affects 2.1 million people each year.
According to a facts sheet provided at the CDC website, gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, “a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb), and fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women, and in the urethra (urine canal) in women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus.”
This STD can leave both men and women infertile, and put those infected at a greater risk of developing HIV and AIDS. Also, women with gonorrhea can also develop pelvic inflammatory disease and in men, a painful testicle disorder called epididymitis.
As it is an STD, gonorrhea is transmitted via sexual intercourse, anal sex, oral sex and even from mother to baby during birth.
Unfortunately, the STD gonorrhea does not have many symptoms.