Drug Resistant Gonorrhea – What Should You Know About It?
Are you aware that gonorrhea affects 700,000 US adults each year? Gonorrhea is reportedly one of the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. According to latest publication of Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this disease has been found to be resistant to the most treatment regimens, leaving only a few reliable and dependable treatment options available to healthcare providers. In fact, a new report suggested that common treatment regimens comprising of popular drug choices like ofloxacin, rel= nofollow, and levofloxacin (that are classified under fluoroquinolones) are no longer recommended for the management of gonorrhea in the US.
How Prevalent Is Fluoroquinolone-Resistant Gonorrhea In The US?
Latest data indicates that fluoroquinolone-resistant gonorrhea infection is on the rise in adult US homosexual as well as heterosexual couples. In a small period of 5 years, the prevalence of fluoroquinolone-resistant gonorrhea has increased by 11-folds (i.e. from 0.5% in heterosexual individuals to 7.6%). The data is supported by evidence provided by CDC’s Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP).
So far, the only reliable class of antibiotics that can address this condtione in the US is cephalosporins. It won’t be wrong to say that there are not many options left to treat gonorrhea infection.
What Should You Know About Gonorrhea?
It is a sexually transmitted infection that is transferred from an infected person to a healthy contact via sexual intercourse or activity. The reported cases of gonorrhea are just the tip of an iceberg as most people prefer not to seek the treatment, due to stigma associated with sexually transmitted diseases; while others don’t suspect the infection due to mildness of the symptoms. African-American population and young adults are at highest risk of developing the infection. It is very important to detect, diagnose and treat gonorrhea because:
- Long-standing and poorly managed gonorrhea can aggravate the risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease in women which can lead to permanent infertility, chronic pain and altered quality of life
- This kind of infection aggravates the risk of developing other serious sexually transmitted infections and diseases such as HIV
- In men, untreated gonorrhea can lead to testicular infections (such as epididymitis) a painful condition of testicles that is associated with permanent sterility in men.
What Are Some Danger Signs To Watch For?
CDC and World Health Organization suggests that prevention is the key to limit the risk of contracting this infection. If you have developed the infection, it is strongly recommended to seek appropriate treatment and limit sexual activity to avoid transmitting the infection to your healthy contacts. Following are some of the signs that you should watch for:
- Burning or painful urination
- Passage of pus or green discharge from the genitals
- Swelling or inflammation of the genitals (testicles)
- Soreness of anus, itching or painful defecation (bowel movements)
- Intermenstrual bleeding in women
It is highly recommended to speak to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of gonorrhea or any other sexually transmitted disease. Early detection and prompt management can reduce the risk of complications.
- Trecker, M. A., & Dillon, J. A. R. (2014). Identification of demographic and behavioral risk factors for antibiotic resistant infections to combat the emergence of potentially untreatable infections.
- Grad, Y. H., Goldstein, E., Lipsitch, M., & White, P. J. (2015). Improving control of antibiotic-resistant by integrating research agendas across disciplines: key questions arising from mathematical modeling. The Journal of infectious diseases, 213(6), 883-890.