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07 Jul 2017

Studies: Unprotected oral sex can cause untreatable gonorrhea!

Antibiotic resistance makes gonorrhea untreatable

Antibiotic resistance is gradually spreading to STDs. According to experts, unprotected anal, vaginal and oral sex makes you even more vulnerable than before.

In particular, oral sex without use of condoms is leading to rise in cases of gonorrhea, says WHO. It is harder, sometimes even impossible, to treat now.

It is estimated to infect 78mn people annually. Few new drugs have been developed.

In context

Antibiotic resistance makes gonorrhea untreatable
What is gonorrhea? What are the symptoms?


What is gonorrhea? What are the symptoms?

Gonorrhea, caused by the bacterium 'Neisseria gonorrhoea', can spread from mother to baby during pregnancy or through unprotected sexual acts; the bacteria can spread when one touches an infected area on another person.

Symptoms include green or yellow discharge from genitals, pain during urination and bleeding outside of periods.

If untreated, gonorrhea can even cause infertility.

And what is antibiotic resistance?

With overuse of antibiotics, over time, the bacteria in one's body adapt and become immune to the drugs that are designed to kill them. This leads to the standard treatments for bacterial infections becoming ineffective.

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At least three untreatable cases detected, poor countries more vulnerable

At least three untreatable cases of gonorrhea have been detected in Japan, Spain and France recently.

Though the bacteria can infect genitals, rectum and throat, the last is of special concern for officials.

"When you use antibiotics to treat infections like a normal sore throat, this mixes with the Neisseria species in your throat and this results in resistance," said WHO's Dr Teodora Wi.

WHO urges countries to buckle up, test new drugs


WHO urges countries to buckle up, test new drugs

The WHO has urged countries to monitor the situation and invest in new drugs. Presently, there are "only three drug candidates in the pipeline".

Prof Richard Stabler, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, says therapy has changed three times in 15 years.

He calls the drugs being used now the "last resort".

According to WHO, vaccines will ultimately be needed to prevent gonorrhea.

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