Gonorrhea becoming drug-resistant, experts say

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (WCMH) — Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are causing problems for health experts around the world.

Drugs that once cleared up infections are steadily becoming less effective in many cases. Now, you can add a sexually transmitted disease to the list of infections that are becoming antibiotic resistant.

Experts at the World Health Organization analyzed data from 77 countries and found that gonorrhea is showing widespread resistance to drugs that once cleared the infection. It’s even becoming “untreatable by all known antibiotics” in some countries, the WHO told CNN.

Nearly 80 million people around the world have gonorrhea, with 820,000 new cases popping up in the United States each year.

The Center for Disease Control said that gonorrhea has developed resistance to almost every class of antibiotics commonly used to treat the condition, including penicillin, tetracycline and fluoroquinolones.

Symptoms of the STD include a burning sensation with urination and unusual discharge. If left untreated, the infection can cause a serious condition called pelvic inflammatory disease, which could cause infertility.

Experts say gonorrhea is one of 11 different types of bacteria that pose a significant risk to human health because of an urgent need for new antibiotics. The WHO is now calling for a vaccine that would prevent the disease and for tests that could predict whether or not an antibiotic will be effective for a specific infection.