Sufferers of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea may soon find themselves without a cure. According to researchers the disease, often referred to as “the clap,” may soon have no effective treatments remaining on the open market.
Researchers examining the disease have found that it is increasingly becoming resistant to cephalosporins, the class of drugs specifically used to treat a gonorrhea infection.
Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the Division of STD Prevention at the CDC tells The Grio:
“Cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea could potentially mean untreatable gonorrhea. Untreatable gonorrhea is a real possibility.”
For years other classes of drugs were also effective but resistance to those drugs led to cephalosporin being used as the main treatment. The CDC is now urging doctors to treat patients with injectable cephalosporin along with either azithromycin or doxycycline.
In some cases patients are being asked to return after one week for a checkup to ensure the gonorrhea infection is gone.
The CDC warns that ejaculation does not have to occur in order for a patient to become infected. Gonorrhea can also spread to a baby during childbirth.
With more than 300,000 cases of gonorrhea reported each year and a suspected 700,000 cases in total the need for STD medicines to treat ‘the clap’ can’t be understated.
Leaving gonorrhea untreated can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy and deep infections that can result in death.
Because the disease is becoming harder to fight the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging patients with more than one partner to receive a gonorrhea checkup annually.
Just last month the World Health Organization warned that gonorrhea was becoming resistant to even the strongest of STD fighting drugs.
In the meantime one promising treatment for gonorrhea is currently in the works, although that treatment has yet to reach market or complete patient testing.
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