KATRINA TURRILL (Express)
Super-gonorrhoea is on the rise in the UK according to a report by Public Health England (PHE). The main reason is down to an increase in antibiotic resistance. The health body has warned that resistance to three of the key drugs used to treat the infection has grown, which is now limiting the options to treat the disease. So how do you know if you’ve got it?
The strain of gonorrhoea is carried by a bug called Neisseria gonorrhoea which can be passed on through sexual contact.
Symptoms of gonorrhoea usually develop within two weeks of being infected, although it should be noted they sometimes don’t appear until many months later.
The NHS outlines different symptoms for men and women to look out for.
Symptoms in women:
- An unusual vaginal discharge, which may be thin or watery and green or yellow in colour
- Pain or a burning sensation when passing urine
- Pain or tenderness in the lower abdominal area – this is less common
- Bleeding between periods, heavier periods and bleeding after sex – this is less common
Symptoms in men:
- An unusual discharge from the tip of the penis, which may be white, yellow or green
- Pain or a burning sensation when urinating
- Inflammation (swelling) of the foreskin
- Pain or tenderness in the testicles – this is rare
It adds: “Both men and women can develop an infection in the rectum, throat or eyes by having unprotected anal or oral sex.
“If infected semen or vaginal fluid comes into contact with the eyes, you can also develop conjunctivitis.
“Infection in the rectum can cause discomfort, pain or discharge. Infection in the eyes can cause irritation, pain, swelling and discharge, and infection in the throat usually causes no symptoms.”
Let year, PHE announced there were 422,000 new sexually- transmitted disease (STD) cases in 2017, which was around the same number reported in 2016.
There were 7.137 diagnoses of syphilis – a 20 per cent increase compared with 2016 and a 148 per cent increase from 2008.
Gonorrhoea cases were found to be 22 per cent up from 2016 and the number of chlamydia tests had dropped by eight per cent.
Dr Helen Fifer, a PHE consultant microbiologist, told The Telegraph: “Gonorrhoea can be serious if untreated, with possible long-term health problems including infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease.
“The best way to protect yourself is to always use condoms with new and casual partners.
“Last year, new cases of gonorrhoea increased by 22 per cent in England with many cases becoming more resistant to antibiotics.
“We expect to see further cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea in the future, which will be challenging for healthcare professionals to manage.”