The UN health agency said gonorrhoea has become very hard, and sometimes, impossible to treat, owing to its new resistance to treatment.
Speaking on behalf of WHO in Geneva on Friday, Teodora Wi said in Japan, France, and Spain, three cases were discovered where the infection could not be treated.
“Gonorrhoea is a very smart bug, every time you introduce a new class of antibiotics to treat gonorrhoea, the bug becomes resistant.
“These cases may just be the tip of the iceberg.”
Health officials, Wi says, are more worried about the threat of gonorrhoea on the throat because antibiotics could lead to treatment-resistant bacteria in the back of the throat.
“When you use antibiotics to treat infections like a normal sore throat, this mixes with the Neisseria species in your throat and this results in resistance.”
The UN health agency estimates that 78 million people are infected annually with the disease. Britain and the U.S. reported increases of more than 10 per cent in 2015.
Cases among gay men in France doubled between 2013 and 2015. Rates are highest in the African region, where one in 10 men is infected annually.
WHO noted that the main reasons for the increase are decreasing condom use, increased mobility as well as poor disease monitoring and inadequate treatment, according to the WHO.
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus.
It is mainly found in discharge from the penis and in vaginal fluid and can easily pass between people through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex.
Gonorrhoea can infect the genitals, rectum, and throat. It can lead to inflammation of the pelvis and to infertility.
Currently, only three new drugs are being developed, because pharmaceutical companies know that the bacteria will soon become resistant to any new antibiotic.
To control gonorrhoea, doctors not only need new medicines but also a rapid diagnostic tool and a vaccine, which are yet to be developed, WHO Antimicrobial expert, Marc Sprenger, said.
Source: Buzz Nigeria