A “sex superbug,” more officially known as a resistant strain of the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea, has not been confirmed to have infected two individuals in Hawaii, despite recent reports to the contrary.
Public concern over the sex superbug has been increasing as doctors warn that a new strain known as H041 has indicated a resistance to ceftriaxone, a treatment involving an injectable antibiotic reserved for cases of gonorrhea that have failed to respond to first-line treatments.
Word that the sex superbug had definitively traveled to the states after being detected in other countries was indeed alarming, but it turns out that the fears of HO41 on American shores were overstated and reports of infected Americans inaccurate.
The Associated Press was among outlets reporting upon the sex superbug in Hawaii scare, and NBC News says that the report has since been rescinded after officials explained that the drug resistant form of gonorrhea found in those cases was in actuality a different antibiotic resistant strain:
“But the Hawaii cases, first discovered in May 2011, were actually a different strain, H11S8, resistant to a different drug, the antibiotic azithromycin, state health officials confirmed. That’s been a known problem for a while, Workowski added. The AP later withdrew the inaccurate report.”
As the report notes, public health officials are caught between not furthering inaccurate information while urging individuals to take the threat of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea seriously.
In actuality, not only has the sex superbug not spread to the U.S., the infection has not been reported worldwide since being detected in a Japanese sex worker back in 2009.
Public health officials explain that the impetus is not so much to urge caution in individuals, but to sound the alarm about using stronger than necessary antibiotics to treat gonorrhea in order to preserve the effectiveness of ceftriaxone.
According to experts, the sex superbug could prove deadly if the trend of antibiotic resistance continues.