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The New Super Strain in the Game

The New Super Strain in the Game

Add “super gonorrhea” to the list of viral diseases on your radar. A new super strain of the sexually transmitted infection has been detected for the second time since 2018. The term "super gonorrhea" refers to a bug that has a high level of resistance to recommended treatments.

The outbreak was traced back to an Austrian man who had sex abroad in Cambodia, catching what was later deemed a new strain of "super gonorrhea" that is resistant to most antibiotics commonly used to treat the infection. This new strain has a high-level of resistance to azithromycin, which is typically one of the first antibiotics used to treat gonorrhea. It was also found resistant to ceftriaxone, cefixime, cefotaxime, ciprofloxacin and tetracycline.

Gonorrhea, caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is one of the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infections in the U.S., with more than 1.5 million Americans diagnosed each year.

Using condoms during sex and having monogamous sex with an uninfected person are the only ways to cut the risk of contracting any strain of gonorrhea. Experts worry that the rise of these super strain cases might render current treatment ineffective, potentially resulting in a sexually transmitted global epidemic.

Most cases of gonorrhea don't produce symptoms but can cause serious complications, such as infertility and an increased risk of HIV, if it is not possible to treat the infection. Symptoms in men typically include painful urination, swelling in one testicle, and a pus-like discharge from the penis or rectum. Symptoms in women include a painful sensation when peeing, increased vaginal discharge and bleeding between periods.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your doctor as soon as possible.