A drug-resistant strain of gonorrhea has some health experts saying that the bacteria's effects could match those of AIDS, CNBC is reporting.
"This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly," said Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine.
Even though nearly 30 million people have died from AIDS-related causes worldwide, Christianson said the gonorrhea “superbug” bacteria can be lethal in a far shorter period of time.
"Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days," Christianson said. "This is very dangerous."
"It's an emergency situation," addec William Smith, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors. "As time moves on, it's getting more hazardous."
In January, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the emergence of cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea in the United States has made the sexually transmitted disease much more difficult to treat.
“Gonorrhea has progressively developed resistance to the antibiotic drugs prescribed to treat it,” the CDC said. “The emergence of cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea would significantly complicate our ability to treat gonorrhea successfully, since we have few antibiotic options left that are simple, well-studied, and highly effective. It is critical to continuously monitor antibiotic resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and encourage research and development of new treatment regimens.”
This gonorrhea strain, HO41, was first discovered in Japan two years ago in a 31-year-old female sex worker who had been screened in 2009. It has since been found in Hawaii, California, and Norway.
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