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WHO Warns of Drug-Resistant Strains of Gonorrhea

June 6, 2012

"Drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea have spread to countries across the world, the UN health agency said on Wednesday, and millions of patients may run out of treatment options unless doctors catch and treat cases earlier," Reuters reports (Kelland, 6/6). "Already several countries, including Australia, France, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom are reporting cases of resistance to cephalosporin antibiotics -- the last treatment option against gonorrhea," a WHO press release states (6/6).

"'This organism has basically been developing resistance against every medication we've thrown at it,' said Dr. Manjula Lusti-Narasimhan, a scientist in the agency's department of sexually transmitted diseases," according to the Associated Press. "In a couple of years it will have become resistant to every treatment option we have available now," she added, the news service notes. The WHO "is urging governments and doctors to step up surveillance of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, a bacterial infection that can cause inflammation, infertility, pregnancy complications and, in extreme cases, lead to maternal death," the AP writes (6/6).

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