Daily Revolt

April 12, 2007

CDC says Gonorrhea is Drug-Resistant

It is only the beginning. The potential for catastrophic plagues is getting closer to reality. What has been feared for some time, drug resistant super bugs, is now getting serious. With all the attention on Iraq and Anna Nicole's baby, we have little time for facing a threat greater than al Qaeda:
The sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea is now among the "superbugs" resistant to common antibiotics, leading U.S. health officials to recommend wider use of a different class of drugs to avert a public health crisis.

The resistant form accounts for more than one in every four gonorrhea cases among heterosexual men in Philadelphia and nearly that many in San Francisco, according to a survey that led to Thursday's recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Join the club:
"Gonorrhea has now joined the list of other superbugs for which treatment options have become dangerously few," said Dr. Henry Masur, president of the Infectious Disease Society of America. "To make a bad problem even worse, we're also seeing a decline in the development of new antibiotics to treat these infections."

The gift that keeps on giving:
Gonorrhea, spread through sexual contact, is the second most commonly reported infectious disease in the United States, trailing only chlamydia, which the CDC says affects more than 2.1 million people yearly in the U.S.

The highest rates of infection are among sexually active teens, young adults and African-Americans. Because many people don't have obvious symptoms, they can unknowingly spread it to others. And having it makes people more susceptible to HIV. Gonorrhea's spread is preventable through consistent and proper use of condoms, experts said.

The real issue here is the increasing potential for antibiotics not having benefit on whole host of diseases and illnesses. The cause: the over use of those same anti-biotics.

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