Man catches ‘world’s worst' gonorrhoea

A BRITISH man has caught the world's worst case of gonorrhoea, which has proved resistant to almost all treatments.

British health agency Public Health England said he was the first person to catch the serious strain of the sexually transmitted infection (STI), following a sexual encounter with a woman in South-East Asia.

The two antibiotics typically used to treat the infection, azithromycin and ceftriaxone, failed to cure the bug.

The unnamed man learnt he had the super-resistant STI following a check-up one month after he returned from Asia.

"We are investigating a case who has gonorrhoea which was acquired abroad and is very resistant to the recommended first-line treatment," said Dr Gwenda Hughes, the head of Public Health England's STI section.

"This is the first time a case has displayed such high-level resistance to both of these drugs, and to most other commonly used antibiotics."

The strand of infection is proving resistant to the usual antibiotics.
The strand of infection is proving resistant to the usual antibiotics.

Gonorrhoea is caused by a bacteria and is spread through vaginal, oral and anal sex.

Symptoms usually develop within two weeks of a person becoming infected, and are characterised by a coloured discharge from the genitalia, pain or a burning sensation when urinating and inflammation.

But roughly one in 10 men and more than three-quarters of women with the infection will show no recognisable symptoms.

UN's health agency, the World Health Organisation (WHO), has estimated that 78 million people are infected with gonorrhoea every year worldwide.

Last month, reported on a resistant strain of the infection spreading rapidly in Australia.

There were 742 reports of critically resistant bacteria lodged by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care from April to the end of September 2017 - a 75 per cent increase on the 423 cases reported in the same period a year earlier.

A recent report published by the Kirby Institute showed there has been a 63 per cent increase of gonorrhoea in Australia over the last five years, with 23,000 people diagnosed in 2016 alone.

While gonorrhoea and syphilis rates are on the rise in Australia, HIV rates have remained stable for the past five years.