Some gonorrhea strains becoming immune to treatment
A recent study conducted by experts from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that untreatable gonorrhea is becoming more prevalent in North America. The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that some gonorrhea bacteria are now resistant to cephalosporins, the last form of defense used in treatment.
This comes as a major concern to many as the STD is a commonly communicable disease in the U.S. More than 700,000 Americans are diagnosed with gonorrhea every year, according to the CDC.
"It is time to sound the alarm," said Judith Wasserheit, one of the authors of the study. "Though there is no evidence yet of treatment failures in the U.S., trends in decreased susceptibility coupled with a history of emerging resistance and reported treatment failures in other countries point to a likelihood of failures on the horizon and a need for urgent action."
Despite the increased risk, there are ways that individuals can protect themselves and maintain their sexual health. Gonorrhea is one of many STDs that can be kept from spreading through the use of condoms during intercourse. Exercising caution is one of the easiest ways to avoid coming into contact with an STD.
When gonorrhea is left untreated, the Mayo Clinic states that it can result in infertility, an increased risk for birth defects and infections that affect other areas of the body, such as the joints. A medical practitioner can diagnose the disease through various tests, then treat the condition accordingly with medication.