Health officials have ‘huge concerns’ as ‘super strain’ of gonorrhoea spreads to gay and bi men
Doctors have said they are “hugely concerned” about the spread of a “super-gonorrhoea”, which is now being seen in gay men.
A national alert was issued back in September, when the drug-resistant strain of gonorrhoea was found in northern England.
The outbreak was detected in Leeds, and cases have been found in Macclesfield, Oldham and Scunthorpe.
Despite attempts to find those who had become infected with the super strain, efforts to stop the strain from spreading were found to have “little success”, reports the BBC.
Although the strain was initially just seen in straight people, it is now believed that gay and bisexual men are at risk too.
Fears that the super strain would spread to the gay community were borne from the fact that regular strains of gonorrhoea disproportionately affect men who have sex with men.
Cases have now been found in London, the West Midlands and southern England, and it is feared that the strain could be untreatable.
The strain is highly resistant to the azithromycin drug, and such resistance has previously been rare.
About 10 percent of men and about half of women with gonorrhoea do not experience symptoms.
According to experts, if the only fully effective antibiotic does not work the strain will be untreatable.
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Public Health England has acknowledged the fears over the gonorrhoea, saying it is a “further sign of the very real threat of antibiotic resistance to our ability to treat infections.”
Speaking to BBC News, Peter Greenhouse, a sexual health consultant from Bristol said: “We’ve been worried it would spread to men who have sex with men.
“The problem is [they] tend to spread infections a lot faster simply as they change partners more quickly.”
Warnings have already been issued around fears of growing antibiotic resistance.
Chancellor George Osborne said the issue could become”an even greater threat to mankind than cancer” unless all countries around the world address the situation.