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Safe sex warning after two women infected with super-gonorrhoea

'This is a timely reminder of the importance of avoiding getting or passing on gonorrhoea,' Public Health England doctor says

Chiara Giordano
Thursday 10 January 2019 11:00 GMT
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Sam Thompson discusses STI's for Public Health England

Two women have infected with super-gonorrhoea prompting doctors to urge people to practice safe sex.

One of the women got the infection in Europe and the other in the UK, according to Public Health England.

Doctors are investigating whether the cases are linked.

Both of the women have been cured of the infections but they were resistant to main therapy.

“Although these two cases of extensively resistant gonorrhoea have been successfully treated, contact tracing is under way to ensure there is no onward spread,” said Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England.

“This is a timely reminder of the importance of avoiding getting or passing on gonorrhoea. Everyone can substantially reduce their risk by using condoms consistently and correctly with all new and casual partners.”

Also known as “the clap”, Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae and spread by unprotected sex.

The infection is usually treated with the antibiotics ceftriaxone and azithromycin but the bacterium in these two cases was resistant to the drugs.

If treated early, gonorrhoea is unlikely to lead to any complications or long-term problems, according to the NHS.

But without treatment it can spread to other parts of your body and cause serious problems.

A case of resistant gonorrhoea was acquired in South East Asia by a UK national in 2018. The type of resistance seen in these two cases is different and therefore unrelated.

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The more times you have gonorrhoea, the more likely you are to have complications.

During pregnancy, gonorrhoea can cause miscarriage, premature labour or the baby being born with conjunctivitis which can then lead to permanent vision damage if not quickly treated with antibiotics.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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