Safe sex reminder issued as resilient gonorrhoea strain spreads

Medical Government/ NHS related news

Public Health England has reminded people across the country of the need to practise safe sex in order to avoid contracting a strain of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea.

Cases of gonorrhoea that are highly resistant to the antibiotic azithromycin first emerged in the north of England in November 2014, with further cases having been confirmed in the West Midlands and the south of England since September last year.

“The government has issued a reminder about the need for safe sex in response to the spread of a strain of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea.“

The total number of cases confirmed in England between November 2014 and the present now stands at 34, leading the government to emphasise the importance of safe sex with new or casual partners.

Precautions include the use of condoms, avoiding overlapping sexual relationships and getting tested regularly for infections.

Dr Gwenda Hughes, consultant scientist and head of the sexually-transmitted infections section at Public Health England, said: "Public Health England will continue to monitor and act on the spread of antimicrobial resistance and potential gonorrhoea treatment failures, to make sure they are identified and managed promptly."

Although the current outbreak strain remains sensitive to ceftriaxone therapy, the emergence of ceftriaxone resistance could mean this form of gonorrhoea may become untreatable.

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