New U.S. Cases of Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea Confirmed

The "sex superbug" called H041 has surfaced in Hawaii and California


Health officials are warning that two cases of a so-called "sex superbug" have been confirmed in Hawaii.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked Congress for $50 million to find a new antibiotic to treat the drug-resistant strain of the disease. The first case in the nation was identified in a young woman in Hawaii in May 2011.

The "sex superbug" called HO41 was first discovered in Japan in 2011. It spread to Hawaii, and has now surfaced in California and Norway.

For years, gonorrhea has been treated with a simple dose or oral antibiotic. However, a report issued by the CDC in April warned health care workers of the threat of a multidrug-resistant gonorrhea.

While there is currently one clinical trial testing a potential treatment, The National Institutes of Health currently supports 137 basic science research grants on gonorrhea.

According to 2011 data, men are more prone to be infected with 64-percent of all cases in California in comparison to women.

Men who have sex with men account for 60-percent of male cases or close to 39-percent of the state’s total.

The CDC suggests women and homosexual men be screened for gonorrhea at least annually.

At the same time, the National Coalition of STD Directors event went so far as to describe the U.S. as on the verge of an epidemic.

Untreated, gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility in women and can facilitate transmission of human immunodeficiency virus.

The majority of gonorrhea infections are asymptomatic so someone may be spreading the infections to others without knowing it. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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