Like a Clap Of Thunder Echoing Across The Continent: European CDC Reports Gonorrhea Cases Have Doubled
If you have college-age children who have a European walkabout planned this summer, you might want to make sure you have a good long talk with them first regarding the dangers of unprotected sex. For supplemental reading, you might give them some literature on how antibiotics work–or, as has become more and more frequent, how they don’t work anymore, at least not as well as they once did.
The head of the European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released an alarming study showing that the occurrence of gonorrhea across the European Union has more than doubled in just a few short years, despite educational efforts and other prevention measures implemented in various nations there.
The data show that between 2008 and 2014, the rate of officially reported gonorrhea infections has more than doubled from 8 per 100,000 people in the population, to 20 per 100,000.
That doesn’t sound like a lot until you consider how many people live in the European Union/European Economic Area: the raw numbers amount to some 66,000 cases of the clap in 27 countries–and keep in mind also that’s just the cases that have been reported.
That number is also an increase of 25 percent just from 2013 to 2014. As is to be expected, the cases skewed younger, with some 38 percent of reported infections occurring in people who were aged 15 to 24, and 34 percent in people who were 25 to 34 years old.
Some other interesting findings included the fact that for the first time since 2010, the number of women infected with the sexually transmitted disease was higher than the number of men who were infected. This is especially troubling given the additional risks women run of reproductive complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, or even infertility if it is left untreated, or possible transmission from mother to child if a woman is already pregnant when she contracts the disease.
According to the European CDC, the findings indicate an ongoing pattern of sex without a condom, which is especially troubling as it also indicates a heightened risk of transmission of other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. In fact the same study showed that 11 percent of those infected with gonorrhea were also infected with HIV.
Troubling findings indeed, especially when one considers that gonorrhea is especially wily when it comes to resisting antibiotic treatment.
So again, if you have any European travelers seeking adventure this summer, tell them that this is one souvenir they don’t want to bring home with them.