Gonorrhea Joins New Group of Drug Resistant Super Bugs

A once common and 100% treatable sexually transmitted disease (STD) has been upgraded to a new family of drug-resistant super bugs according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Gonorrhea has been the second most common STD second only to chlamydia. Both used to be 100% treatable.

The CDC on Thursday announced they will no longer recommend the usual and most common family of antibiotic treatments for gonorrhea including ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, and levofloxacin. All three are grouped in the fluoroquinolone family of antibiotics but are proving ineffective in the treatment of the new fluoroquinolone-resistant gonorrhea.

Treatment for this particular STD is now limited to one group of antibiotics called cephalosporins. Director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Dr. Kevin Fenton said, “We are running out of options to treat this serious disease.”

New research indicates that drug-resistant gonorrhea is now widespread within the American heterosexual community as well as among male homosexuals while sexually active teenagers, young adults and African-Americans carry the highest infection rates. Gonorrhea affects approximately 700,000 Americans every year.

The symptoms of gonorrhea can go unnoticed in many people which raises the risk of infecting others. Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious complications including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women, infertility in men and both sexes can more easily contract HIV.