Medical Minute: Untreatable ‘Super Gonorrhea’ On the Rise


A new untreatable form of gonorrhea, called “super gonorrhea” is infecting people all over the world. This new strain is mainly spread by oral sex, and there is no treatment.

This new strain was developed after doctors misdiagnosed it for strep throat and began overprescribing antibiotics. Researchers say the bacteria has gotten smarter and adapted quickly to resist standard treatment.

The super strain of gonorrhea is resistant to all antibiotics, including the last line of defense — azthromycin (AZT) and ceftriaxone antibiotics.

Gonorrhea usually infects 78 million people per year. It commonly affects the genitals, rectum and throat.

Patients infected with gonorrhea usually have no symptoms. But if left untreated, gonorrhea can cause abdominal and genital pain and a smelly discharge from the genitals. Also common is fever, frequent urge to urinate, irregular menstruation, or sore throat and difficulty swallowing.

Gonorrhea is the 2nd most commonly spread STD in America. It can increase the risk of HIV infection and can be spread from mother to child during childbirth.

The NY Daily News reports that 3 new antibiotics are in the pipeline, but it is not known when those drugs will reach the market.

The standard cautions still apply: use condoms and gels, or practice abstinence if you are not married.