“Untreatable” Gonorrhea Spreading Across UK
Flying cars, the five-hour work week, 30-minute intercontinental commercial rocket travel–this was the future we were told was coming soon, back in the heady days of post-moon landing America. Where’s my jet-pack, indeed?
Of course, the Disney/Jetsons version of the future might yet be around the corner, who knows.
One thing we can know for sure is this is one thing they never talked about when they discussed the wonders the future might one day bring us: untreatable gonorrhea.
A new strain of gonorrhea that is antibiotic resistant is spreading across the UK, and doctors are concerned that there is little recourse for their patients.
The spread of the so-called “super-gonorrhea”–and please, for the love of god, anyone associated with the Marvel universe, do NOT make a superhero out of that–seems to have originated in Leeds, but has now spread to the West Midlands, London and southern England as well.
The infection, which can cause infertility if left untreated, has only been officially confirmed in 34 cases, but health officials fear that is just the tip of the iceberg.
The new strain is believed to have originated in straight couples, but now officials say it is showing up in gay men as well, which poses another problem in terms of treatment: gay men are more likely to contract the disease in their throats.
The problem is that in terms of treatment, antibiotics get to the throat area in lower doses than they do to the genitals. Furthermore, the throat is home to a host of other bacteria, which may help the gonorrhea’s resistance to the antibiotics.
Gonorrhea has always been tricky to treat, and it has learned to shake off a variety of antibiotics over the years. Currently, the go-to treatment of gonorrhea is a combination of azithromycin and ceftiaxone. But as resistance to azithromycin has increased, doctors fear that it’s only a matter of time before ceftriaxone also is overwhelmed.
And although Walt Disney and Hanna-Barbera may never have predicted this future for humanity, one where people suffer chronic, untreatable green discharge draining from their throats and genitals, it certainly is future some could see coming–or at least it’s a component of it.
The overpresciption of antibiotics and the demand of patients for something–anything–to “treat” their sniffles and head colds even though antibiotics don’t work on viruses, has helped lead us to this pass. As has the factory farming industry with its relentless cost-cutting leading to cruel and disease-ridden facilities where antibiotics are necessary just to keep their animals alive.
We have made our own bed, and now we must lie in it. but for the love of god, if there’s anyone else lying in that bed with you, use protection.