'Super Gonorrhea' Spreading As Australians Diagnosed With STD Resistant to All Antibiotic Treatments

Dana Dovey

Two cases of "super gonorrhea," a strain of the sexually transmitted disease that is resistant to all frontline antibiotics, have been identified in Australia, the Australian Government Department of Health reported on Tuesday. This comes three weeks after the world’s first documented case of super gonorrhea, where the patient’s infection was resistant to all known treatment, was discovered in the U.K.

One case was identified in Western Australian, and the other in Queensland. Both patients are believed to have contracted the infection in Southeast Asia. The U.K. case was also traced to the region. 

The Australian Government Department of Health said: "These latest cases and a recent one in the UK appear to be the first reported that are resistant to all of the antibiotics that have been in routine use against gonorrhoea." They are categorized as “multi-drug resistant.”

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Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Although symptoms do not always manifest, in men they include a burning sensation while urinating, a discharge from the penis, and painful or swollen testicles. In women symptoms include a painful or burning sensation when urinating, increased vaginal discharge, and vaginal bleeding between periods, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms are more common in men than women. However, women are at increased risk of having more serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.

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In this picture taken September 20, 2017, packs of 'nasi lemak' flavoured condoms are seen amidst others at the Malaysian condom-maker Karex Industries headquarters in Port Klang. Condoms may help to reduce the risk of contracting an STI. Manan Vatsyana/AFP/Getty Images

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Cases of regular non-antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea have increased in Australia in recent years, the Department of Health reported. The cause for this is not clear. The gonorrhea bacteria continues to evolve a resistance against antibiotics commonly used to treat it. As a result, certain strains of the infection have become extremely difficult to treat.

At this time, the World Health Organization as well as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control are discussing ways to address this new strain that appears to be resistant to all known attempts to cure it, the BBC reported.

The Australian Government Department of Health has asked that those with any symptoms of gonorrhea visit their doctor or a sexual health clinic immediately.

This article was first written by Newsweek

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