Two women in the UK have been infected with super-gonorrhoea, sparking deep concern amongst sexual health doctors.
It’s thought that one of the women contracted the sexually transmitted infection in a European party destination and the second woman is also believed to have been infected by the same strain.
Although the women do not know each other and it’s not believed they are connected through sexual partners, both were infected by a strain of gonorrhoea that proved to be resistant to the first choice antibiotics – a combination of azithromycin and ceftriaxone.
Health officials are working to try to contact other sexual partners who may have come in contact with the STI.
The disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which is spread by unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex.
Symptoms can include a thick green or yellow discharge from sexual organs, pain while urinating and bleeding between periods.
However, those infected with the disease often experience no symptoms at all, making it harder to diagnose and treat before others become infected.
Dr Nick Phin, from Public Health England, said: “We tried to follow up contacts as much as possible, but it can be difficult – particularly if people don’t have details you can contact them with. It is possible there may be other cases.”
The strain is proving to be yet another bacterium resistant to new antibiotics.
Dr Olwen Williams, president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, said: “We are deeply concerned by these new developments.”