(HEADLINE HEALTH) As we have recently reported, this year’s most deadly strain of the influenza virus may come not from China, Hong Kong, or the other ‘usual suspects,’ but Australia (‘Aussie Flu’ Spreading Fast Around the Globe, 9/26/17; Record Rates of Flu Cases Inundate Aussie ER’s, 8/14/17).
Now we’re learning that a more potent stain of the flu may not be the only superbug to have recently evolved Down Under.
According to a new study, the number of cases of gonorrhea in Australia has soared by 63% in the past five years. Another report says “there has been a resurgence of infectious syphilis.”
Researchers say that one possible explanation the germs responsible for these diseases are evolving. As drugs become less effective against infectious agents, the need to keep your immunity strong and avoid high-risk populations has never been great.
Below we bring you one of the recent reports suggesting that Australia has become an incubator for more potent strains of contagious diseases.
Australia gonorrhea cases surge 63%
(BBC) The number of cases of gonorrhea in Australia has soared by 63% in the past five years, a new study has found.
The World Health Organization warned earlier this year that the disease is rapidly developing resistance to antibiotics.
The rise in gonorrhea was led by young heterosexual city dwellers. However the reasons for the increase are unclear.
Changes in sexual behaviour or a particular strain of the infection could be behind the rise, researchers say.
Oral sex spreading unstoppable bacteria
Gonorrhoea can infect the genitals, rectum and throat.
The study found that other sexually transmissible infections (STIs), such as syphilis, had also increased, particularly among Indigenous Australians.
Between 2012 and 2016, rates of gonorrhoea soared 72% for men and 43% for women.
The rise suggested “suggests increasing transmission through heterosexual sex”, the report said.
Gonorrhoea has no symptoms in about 80% of women and 50% of men.
The infection is spread by unprotected vaginal, oral and anal sex.
Symptoms can include a thick green or yellow discharge from sexual organs, pain when urinating and bleeding between periods.
However, of those infected, about one in 10 heterosexual men and more than three-quarters of women, and gay men, have no easily recognisable symptoms.
Untreated infection can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and can be passed on to a child during pregnancy. READ THE FULL STORY AT BBC.COM. Also of interest: STDs Rising in All Populations – Including Infants