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Superbug Strain of Gonorrhea Discovered in Japan

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At one point in time, doctors were able to treat and cure Gonorrhea with Penicillin. However, Gonorrhea is notoriously resistant to antibiotics, and over the years doctors have upped the ante to stronger forms of treatment including Cipro. Shockingly, doctors recently discovered a case of Gonorrhea in Japan that is resistant to even the most powerful of antibiotics and are concerned that the disease is once again morphing–but this time into a most virulent and powerful superbug. In fact, this new strain is 500 times more powerful than anything doctors have encountered before.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to female infertility and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and testicular infections in men. In addition, Gonorrhea can also increase the likelihood of contracting and transmitting HIV. In the U.S. there are an estimated 700,000 new cases a year. For this new strain of Gonorrhea, treatment would require IV dosing. Doctors also suspect that the new strain will spread much the same way a previous antibiotic-resistant strain did in the 1990s. During that time period, doctors treated Gonorrhea with another type of antibiotics known as quinalones and witnessed a strain of Gonorrhea resistant to those drugs sweep out of the East in Japan and Southeast Asia and into Hawaii and the West Coast of the U.S.

With the current financial crisis in the U.S., doctors are particularly concerned about the number of STD testing clinics that are being shut down. In addition, many of the new cases are occuring in the throat and rectum and there are no FDA-approved tests for diagnosis of these body sites affected by Gonorrhea. Overall, sexually active individuals should be proactive in getting tested for Gonorrhea, especially those engaged in types of sex that would put them at a higher risk, such as anal or oral sex.