Updated December 28th, 2020 at 17:08 IST

WHO warns of rise in Super Gonorrhea due to overuse of antibiotics amid COVID-19

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned about the rise in gonorrhea amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of the excessive use of antibiotics.

Vishal Tiwari
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned about the rise in gonorrhea amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of the excessive use of antibiotics, which is causing resistance to the sexually transmitted infection. According to The Sun, a WHO spokesperson has said that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an ideal situation for super gonorrhea to thrive because of the sudden surge in the use of antibiotics. 

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The UN health body spokesperson reportedly said that the lack of STI services amid the pandemic could also be causing gonorrhea cases to rise. The spokesperson added that during the pandemic more people are self-medicating due to hospitals preoccupied with COVID-19 cases and not safe for regular visits. This could fuel an emergence of resistance in gonorrhea, including super gonorrhea or extensively drug-resistant gonorrhea with high-level resistance to the current recommended treatment such as ceftriaxone and azithromycin. 

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Rise in Gonorrhea cases

Gonorrhea is one of the oldest known sexually transmitted infections in the world with more than 90 million global cases every year. WHO says that the number is rising at an alarming rate of 17 percent. Even though most cases are reported in the African continent, lately the western world has also recorded a rise in gonorrhea infection. According to the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the country has witnessed a 63 percent rise in gonorrhea cases since 2014. 

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The United Kingdom, which the worst affected country in Europe by gonorrhea, could see more than 4 lakh cases every year by 2030. WHO says that the rise in super gonorrhea could cause a five-fold increase in HIV transmission, an increase in infertility cases, which has its own cultural and social implications, and severe neonatal eye infections that may lead to blindness.

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Published December 28th, 2020 at 17:10 IST

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