Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea: What You Need To Know

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It seems like antibiotics are on everybody's lips lately. It's not news that ours is a culture that turns to these "miracle" pills at the first hint of trouble, and for good reason: They work. But, an increasing number of experts are becoming concerned that many common conditions that have long been treated with a simple round of antibiotics are becoming resistant to these drugs. And, we're not just talking about things like sinus infections or UTIs.

A new study from the CDC looked at the effect of antibiotic resistance on the prevalence (and treatability) of gonorrhea. And, let's just say the results are not pretty.

Currently, gonorrhea is treated pretty easily with an antibiotic called cephalosporin. However, a drug-resistant strain of the STI has been gaining steam for several years. The CDC study looked at the rate of new gonorrhea infections of all strains around the country between 1991 and 2006, comparing the numbers in areas with high rates of antibiotic resistance (big cities like San Francisco, Denver, and Seattle) with those in areas with low resistance (places like Atlanta, New Orleans, and Philadelphia). The results showed that rates of gonorrhea infection increased over the time period in cities with higher resistance to antibiotics in general.

No word on what proportion of those infections were of the antibiotic-resistant variety. Still, we can't think of too many things that scare us more than a case of gonorrhea that you just can't shake. (Time)