Everyone must have heard of Gonorrhea as some kind of disease, but does everyone know what exactly the disease is, and how it has become an epidemic problem in the United States and potentially the entire world?
Gonorrhea is caused by a bacterium, Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, and can be passed from person to person through any type of sex. The infection can be spread by contact with the mouth, vagina, penis, or anus. Symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear within 2 – 5 days after the infection, however, in men, symptoms can take up to a month to appear and for majority of males they do not show any symptoms at all. Symptoms in women are very mild and nonspecific. When symptoms do become prominent for women they will mistake gonorrhea for another type of infection. [Check out the article in the New York Times for specific symptoms.]. If the infection is left untreated it will lead to: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) for women, Epididymitis for men, Arthritis, Meningitis, Infertility, and death.
On the other hand, if gonorrhea is detected at its early stage it is curable. There are certain specific antibiotics that scientists have discovered that will help the body fight off the disease. Unfortunately, scientists, recently, have found gonorrhea strains in Japan that resisted antibiotics. In July 2011 government health officials announced that gonorrhea, the second most common sexually transmitted disease, “is becoming increasingly resistant to the last type of antibiotics left to treat it.” [New York Times]. Although it is stated that there are no resistant strains found in the United States, scientists are becoming increasingly worried because Neisseria Gonorrhoeae has an amazing ability to mutate itself on its cell surface for people to develop resistance to antibiotics. What is more frightening is the fact that this bacteria will continually try to mutate itself into a form that will prevent the body from accepting any type of antibiotics.
The moral of this blog post is not to scare anybody, but to inform and educate people that there is a specific strain of gonorrhea out there that is resistant to antibiotics. Gonorrhea infection is not a joke and all people have to do is protect themselves from gonorrhea and other STD’s by using a condom. Any STI can have the potential to develop into a superbug and resist antibiotics and if everyone knows how to protect themselves, maybe in 2040, all STI’s will be eradicated including HIV.