Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » Trending News

'Sex Superbug': STD Worse Than AIDS That Hit U.S. Proven False

Travelers Today       By    Karen Fredrickson

Updated: May 07, 2013 01:11 PM EDT

Text Size: A A A

scientists
Scientists have been calming fears about an outbreak of a superbug.(Photo : Flickr)

The Internet is full of reports of a new "sex superbug" that is threatening the United States and is resistant to antibiotics. This new bug is a drug-resistant form of gonorrhea. However, before everyone starts imagining some worst-case scenario out of "Contagion," doctors suggest taking a breath, because it isn't necessarily true, according to NBC.

"The sky is not falling - yet," Dr. Kimberly Workowski, a professor of infectious disease at Emory University in Atlanta, said.

The story, which has been reported as fact by many established media outlets, including the Associated Press, is that a rare strain of gonorrhea known as HO41 has been detected in Hawai'i. This finding would cause many disease-related alarms to go off, as it would be the first sign of a strain that is resistant to ceftriaxone to be found domestically. Ceftriaxone is an injectable antibiotic that is the last-resort treatment for gonorrhea.

Share This Story

However, it turns out that the cases in Hawai'i, which were discovered in May 2011, were actually a strain known as H11S8, which is resistant to a different antibiotic, azithromycin, according to state officials. They have been aware of the situation for a while, and while it does raise a red flag, it has recently raised the wrong red flag and does not present any immediate danger.

The HO41 strain hasn't been detected anywhere in the world since 2009, when it was discovered in Japan, when a Japanese sex worker fell victim to the disease, according to Dr. Robert Kirkcaldy, a medical epidemiologist with the Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

There have been a few other cases found to be resistant to ceftriaxone in other countries, but according to Kirkcaldy, they're different isolates.

The false reports have put public health officials in a unique position, where they are refuting an erroneous report, while also reminding the public that untreatable gonorrhea is a real threat in the U.S.

"We think that that could be just a matter of a year or two," William Smith, the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), said. There were nearly 322,000 cases of gonorrhea reported in the U.S. in 2011, making it the second most commonly reported infection that requires notification in the nation. Because sufferers often show no sign of illness, the actual number is likely to be even higher, with the CDC estimating it to be closer to 700,000.

The problem is occurring because as the bug mutates, it is beginning to outsmart some of the usual antibiotics used to treat it. Last year, the CDC ceased recommending cefixime as a treatment after observation shows it was verging on resistance, with doxycycline and azithromycin remaining as viable treatment options.

"The point was to actually preserve the last remaining drug we know is effective," Workowski said.

The NCSD, led by Smith, is requesting $54 million from Congress for emergency appropriations to improve the U.S. health infrastructure that monitors, diagnoses and treats gonorrhea.

"Untreated gonorrhea is a disaster for public health and HIV prevention," Smith said.

On the bright side, at least there isn't a sex superbug, and gonorrhea can be prevented by practicing safe sex with a single partner, getting tested for STDs to ensure neither you nor your partner are infected, as well as diligent condom use, according to Kirkcaldy.

© 2014 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

ADVERTISEMENT

Travel Tips

Prince Edward Island, Canada

Fall Cruises: Better Than Land Tours? It Gives Guests ‘A European Experience Without Leaving North America’

Fall cruises for foliage in the northeast are now becoming more and more popular as each year goes by. The foliage that is part of the tour is unlike any other place in the country. In fact, more guests are even paying good money to cruise the rivers, as well as the oceans, in order to peep leaves instead of having to brave today’s highly crowded roads and hotels on land.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

CDC is rethinking of their approach towards the Ebola virus while staying positive that the virus can be transmitted through direct contact. New rumors suggest that the virus is airborne after two Dallas nurses became infected despite of wearing their pro

CDC To Modify Approach in Ebola Infection As Virus Becomes Airborne

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. is trying to reconsider its approach to Ebola patients after several reports suggest that the fatal virus could be airborne.

California Drought Map

California Drought Map Reveals 58% Of State Suffers Deficiency Of Water Supply Amid Imminent Winter Season

California's drought map still shows an alarming phenomenon at the Golden State wherein 58% of the area is suffering from deficiency of water supply, be it atmospheric, surface or ground water.

Daniela Poggiali

Nurse Kills 38 Patients Because She Got Annoyed; Co-Workers Say Italian Nurse Daniela Poggiali Is 'Cynical And Vindictive'

Nurse Kills 38 Patients - Italian nurse Daniela Poggiali is one healthcare professional you should be wary of if ever you get confined in a hospital in Italy. For one thing, she is notorious for killing up to 38 patients after she got completely annoyed of them or of their families.

Cattle Return From Alpine Summer Grazing

World's Tallest Cattle Found In Illinois, How Tall Is Blosom The Cow?

World’s tallest cattle is found in Illinois. Owned by Patty Hanson, Blosom the cow has been named Guinness World Records’ tallest cow. How big and tall exactly is Blosom?

Grizzly Bear

Man, 56, Attacked By Bear Shot Accidentally By Hunting Partner Who Tried To Save Him From The Beast

A man attacked by bear was shot by his friend while the latter was attempting to spare him from the brutal attack of the beast.

Debris field spotted on radar at time of the Louisiana loud boom

Louisiana Loud Boom: Mysterious ‘Sonic Boom’ In The Sky Rattles Residents, ‘Debris Field’ Spotted, What Is The ArkLaTex ‘Boom’?

The Louisiana loud boom which was heard and rattled many north eastern Louisiana residents is as of this moment still left unexplained. However, now the National Weather Service has added that whatever the cause of the Louisiana loud boom, it has left a debris field.

Illness Observation

Ebola Airborne CDC: Widespread Outbreak Possible, More Contagious Virus Than Thought

The Executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Jane Orient, claimed the world is dealing a different kind of Ebola virus, one which is more potent and can be transmitted in air via droplets.

Brazil is currently treating and monitoring its first suspected case of Ebola. A 47 year-old man from Guinea reportedly manifest fever withing the 21 day-incubation period of the virus.

Brazil Confirms First Suspected Ebola Case

Brazil treats its first ever suspected case of Ebola while waiting for the results of a blood test which is due to be released on Saturday.

Ebola Press Conference Boston Logan Airport

Ebola In Boston: Two Ebola Mass. Scares Raises Fears Despite Braintree Patient Declared Not At Risk, What Is The Different Types Of Ebola Risks?

Fears over Ebola in Boston have heightened after two Massachusetts scares flared up over the Columbus Day weekend. Raised concerns over Ebola in Boston have since prompted holiday press conferences and reverse 911 calls to reassure the public.

American Airlines jet landing at DCA

American Airlines Flight Depressurized Due To Cracks In Cabin Walls; Plane Had Emergency Landing

American Airlines had to have an emergency landing after its cabin walls started to break apart as its passengers, absolutely terrified, had no choice but to look on and shout for help. One of the passengers, James Wilson, said that he felt something was wrong when the fuselage started to shake violently and heard some popping noises outside the plane.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2014 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics