One of the worse, if not the worst, nightmares of modern medicine is a specific category of microorganisms called superbugs. By that term, scientists describe all known pathogens that have developed a very strong resistance to antibiotics and other drugs that are normally used to fight them. One such case will soon be gonorrhea, according to the latest medical studies and predictions.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (commonly known as STD) that affects a very large number of people on an annual basis. Researchers claim that the new cases documented each year range from 78 to 88 million, with 1% of them (about 850.000) located in the United States of America.
The current and most effective treatment so far is using two different antibiotics, ceftriaxone and azithromycin. The combination of the two separate drugs reduces the chances that the bug will become resistant. Unfortunately, this did not prevent neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium that causes the aforementioned disease to become very resilient.
The latest data gathered from hundreds of thousands of cases have shown that the cases where ceftriaxone did not manage to affect the bacterium increased from 0.4 to 0.8 percent in 2014. The respective percentage for azithromycin in the same year went from 0.6 to 2.5, a fourfold increase.
These percentages may seem very low but we have to keep in mind that the pathogens that are resistant to certain drugs are the only ones that reproduce, since the rest are killed by the antibiotics so, eventually, the only population that will be alive and will keep infecting people is the one that will be immune to the ways we use trying to eliminate it.
Medical experts around the world are trying to discover why this particular bacterium can develop such high degree of resistance in such a relatively short period of time, but so far no evidence has emerged.
Gonorrhea is a very serious disease that may cause infertility if left untreated for extended periods of time, so the solution to this problem should be found as fast as possible. Until then, it is imperative that all people, both men and women, should not have unprotected sex under any circumstance when it involves two people that have just met.
It is very likely that science will eventually come up with yet another solution to a new problem that threatens the quality of our sexual relationship. Until then, we must be mature and put our health above everything else.