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Elizabeth Boskey, Ph.D.

It's the end of the world as we know it

By January 16, 2013

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... and I don't feel fine at all.

The news about antibiotic resistant gonorrhea keeps getting worse. A recent study of gonorrhea patients in Toronto, Canada found that seven percent of them were infected with gonorrhea strains that were not susceptible to the oral antibiotic that is doctors' last, and only, resort for gonorrhea treatment. (I would have said "effective gonorrhea treatment," but that's clearly no longer the case.) The difference between this study and previous studies is that these weren't isolates of gonorrhea that were difficult to kill in a lab. These were patients who were treated for gonorrhea where the treatment failed. In other words, they may well be patients stuck with an incurable STD.

The clap is back, people, and it's worse than ever. The most depressing part is that we did this to ourselves, with overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics, and now we're stuck. Gonorrhea, which along with chlamydia used to be considered to be "not that big a deal" is quickly becoming scarier to me than HIV. At least with HIV there are a number of highly effective treatments, even if there still isn't a full on cure.

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