News

2 women catch gonorrhea superbug in U.K., sparking fears of worldwide spread

An antibiotic-resistant strain of the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, the sexually transmitted disease that can wreak havoc on one’s reproductive system and beyond if left untreated, has been detected in the United Kingdom, sparking fears of a worldwide spread.

Two women caught the disease within England itself, health authorities there told BBC News. Previous cases had been contracted outside the UK.

“It really brings home the message that these organisms will spread globally and you can get them in the UK,” Public Health England spokesman Dr. Nick Phin told BBC News.

While both women were ultimately cured, the first line of defense – ceftriaxone and azithromycin – did not work, the BBC said.

The strain, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is, like other forms, spread by unprotected vaginal, oral and anal sex. Left untreated, it can ultimately cause infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease, the BBC said. It can also be passed on to a baby during pregnancy.

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