'Our greatest fear': Highly drug-resistant gonorrhea confirmed by health officials

Super Gonorrhoea English man has world’s first confirmed case of new strain

GETTYSuper Gonorrhoea English man has world’s first confirmed case of new strain

A British man has caught a super strength strand of gonorrhoea believed to be the "world's worst" case.

It revealed the man had one regular female sexual partner in the United Kingdom, but contracted the infection from a sexual encounter with a woman in south-east Asia.

Public Health England has warned the Englishman's case is the world's first ever recorded case of the STI not responding to ceftraiaxone and azithryomycin - the two drugs that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends to be given to patients.

Public Health England says it is the first time the infection can not be cured with first choice antibiotics.

The case was the first to show high-level resistance to drug treatments and was classified as a world first by both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Centres for Disease Control, the BBC said.

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"When we look back over the past five years, our gonorrhea case count has gone up a startling 529 percent", said Courtney Smith, Communicable Disease Surveillance Program manager with the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium that causes super-gonorrhea.

Doctors are investigating this case to make sure that the transmission risk is minimized as much as possible.

Untreated, it can cause painful pelvic inflammation in women and infertility in both genders.

Oftentimes, there are no signs or symptoms associated with gonorrhea but, when symptoms do occur, they can include pain while urinating, abnormal discharge from the genitals and, with women, pain during sexual intercourse, among other things, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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The man attended sexual health services this year and was found to be infected with a form of the bacteria that is completely resistant to the first line of treatment used against it.

"It is better to avoid getting or passing on gonorrhoea in the first place and everyone can significantly reduce their risk by using condoms consistently and correctly with all new and casual partners", she said in a statement.

Super gonorrhoea is one of many antibiotic-resistant infections which together kill an estimated 700,000 people worldwide each year.

Dr Olwen Williams, the president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV told the BBC: "The emergence of this new strain of highly resistant gonorrhoea is of huge concern and is a significant development".

The WHO gathered data from 2009 to 2014 showing that gonorrhea was becoming increasingly resistant to ciprofloxacin, azithromycin, and ceftriaxone.

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