Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea on the rise: More than 72 million people affected world wide with a disease becoming incurable (WHO report)

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    • Each year, an estimated 35.2 million people are infected in the Western Pacific Region.
    • 11.4 million people in the South-East Asian Region.
    • 11.4 million in the African Region
    • 11.0 million in the Region of the Americas
    • 4.7 million in the European Region.
    • 4.5 million in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

     Data from 77 countries show that antibiotic resistance is making gonorrhoea – a common sexually-transmitted infection – much harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat.

    “The bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are particularly smart. Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them,” said Dr Teodora Wi, Medical Officer, Human Reproduction, at WHO.

    WHO reports widespread resistance to older and cheaper antibiotics. Some countries – particularly high-income ones, where surveillance is best – are finding cases of the infection that are untreatable by all known antibiotics.

    “These cases may just be the tip of the iceberg, since systems to diagnose and report untreatable infections are lacking in lower-income countries where gonorrhoea is actually more common,” adds Dr Wi.

    Each year, an estimated 78 million people are infected with gonorrhoea*. Gonorrhoea can infect the genitals, rectum, and throat. Complications of gonorrhoea disproportionally affect women, including pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility, as well as an increased risk of HIV.

    Decreasing condom use, increased urbanization and travel, poor infection detection rates, and inadequate or failed treatment all contribute to this increase.


    The full WHO report here


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