Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are sounding the alarm about antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, which threatens to pose a “major public health challenge” in the coming years. Over the last three decades, this common sexually transmitted infection has increasingly failed to respond to the drugs used to treat it — which means the thousands of Americans infected with gonorrhea every year are running out of options.
Now, a cocktail of two antibiotics is the last effective treatment we have against the STD. But, there are already some signs that those last resort antibiotics may not be able to hang on for long. Last year, researchers in Canada found that nearly seven percent of patients at a Toronto clinic were infected with a form of the disease that didn’t respond to any drugs at all. As the number of available treatments dwindles, that emerging resistance “could have even more substantial health and economic consequences,” the CDC researchers write.
Both genders are more at risk for contracting HIV if their gonorrhea goes untreated. The National Coalition of STD Directors believes it could be a matter of just another year or two before untreatable gonorrhea spreads throughout the country.
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