Cases of Drug Resistant Gonorrhea Rising in Great Britain
Cases of gonorrhea that are not responding to antibiotics are on the rise in Great Britain. The problem is so severe that cases in England and Wales have increased six times between 2004-2011. The problem is not limited to the U.K, with numbers of cases increasing in Asia, North America, and Europe. There have been cases so severe documented in Japan that absolutely no available drug was able to treat the disease.
About sixty years ago, doctors had many different medications that could treat gonorrhea including penicillin, ampicillin, tetracycline, and doxycycline. Unfortunately, the sexually transmitted disease was able to grow resistance to each of the drugs mentioned above. Now, only two drugs are available: Ceftriaxone, an intramuscular injection and Cefixime, an oral tablet.
Data has shown that even Cefixime has stopped working in the U.S and Canada. Gonorrhea is the second most common sexually transmitted disease with as many as 300,000 cases being reported in the U.S in 2011. Cases that weren’t responding well to Cefixime also showed resistance to Ceftriaxone. Once we lose the ability to treat the disease with currently available drugs, we’re in for a big mess with no other treatments options.