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Superbug horror -- scientists discover gonorrhea superbug that defies all known antibiotics

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: gonorrhea, superbugs, health news

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(NaturalNews) The danger of superbugs -- infectious germs that are resistant to a host of Big Pharma's drug arsenal -- a growing and deadly problem in the 21st century. For example, as NaturalNews covered earlier this year, the U.S. meat supply is contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, including the superbug variety (http://www.naturalnews.com/032099_poultry_su...).

And hospitals are now breeding grounds for the antibiotic resistant germs. In fact, the heartbreaking truth is that newborn babies are acquiring these superbug infections at an alarming rate in neonatal units (http://www.naturalnews.com/026587_infections...).

But while superbugs are resistant to most antibiotics, a new superbug strain has been found that is completely resistant to every antibiotic . That's the finding of an international research team who just announced their discovery -- a superbug form of gonorrhea -- at the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research (ISSTDR) currently underway in Quebec City, Canada.

In a statement to the media, Dr. Magnus Unemo of the Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria, warned that the new strain is likely to transform a common and once easily treatable infection into nothing less than a global threat to public health. Dr. Unemo, Dr. Makoto Ohnishi and their colleagues have identified a variant of the bacterium which causes gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, that has never been documented before. And, as the researchers analyzed this new strain, (called H041, for short) they found genetic mutations in the bacterium that have resulted in a fearsome superbug that shows what the scientists called "extreme resistance" to all cephalosporin-class antibiotics -- the only drugs that, until now, have remained effective in treating gonorrhea.

"This is both an alarming and a predictable discovery," Dr. Unemo said in the media statement. "Since antibiotics became the standard treatment for gonorrhea in the 1940s, this bacterium has shown a remarkable capacity to develop resistance mechanisms to all drugs introduced to control it."

"While it is still too early to assess if this new strain has become widespread, the history of newly emergent resistance in the bacterium suggests that it may spread rapidly unless new drugs and effective treatment programs are developed," Dr. Unemo continued.

The new superbug strain is especially dangerous because gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases on the planet. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cases in the U.S. alone is around 700,000 annually.

It's a particularly insidious STD because it doesn't immediately produce symptoms in around half of infected women and approximately 2 to 5 percent of men. When symptoms occur, they include a burning sensation during urination and a discharge of pus from the genitals. If it is left untreated -- or, in the case of the new strain, can't be treated, gonorrhea can cause serious, irreversible health complications in both sexes, including skin, blood, joint and heart problems leading to death.

Not only can infection with gonorrhea result in chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancy, it can cause infertility in women (and, to a lesser degree, in men). It also increases the risk of HIV transmission. Babies born to mothers infected with gonorrhea are at high risk for developing serious blood and joint infections and may be blind, too.

While the discovery a new strain of gonorrhea superbug is worrisome, don't panic. Remember that your first line of defense is safe sex and a healthy immune system bolstered by good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. In addition, you can search the NaturalNews archives for natural approaches to fighting superbugs without relying on Big Pharma's drugs.

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