News 8 – It’s called the newest “sex superbug” and many people will die because of it. An antibiotic resistant strain of gonorrhea has hit the United States and is now considered a superbug. Analysts say that the bacteria’s effects could be worse than those of HIV – AIDS. “This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly,” said Alan Christiansen, a doctor of naturopathic medicine.
Even though nearly 30 million people have died from AIDS-related causes worldwide, Christensen believes the effect of the gonorrhea bacteria is more direct. “Getting gonorrhea from this strain puts someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days,” Christiansen said. “This is very dangerous. It can be passed through skin on skin contact, making condoms only 30% effective.”
“It’s an emergency situation,” said William Smith, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors. “As time moves on, it’s getting more dangerous. We are losing more lives.” This gonorrhea strand, HO41, was discovered in Japan two years ago in a 31-year-old female sex worker who had been screened in 2009. The bacteria has since been found in 41 U.S. States, and Norway. There have already been 5,126 reported deaths since its discovery in 2013.
“We have to keep beating the drum on this,” said Smith. “The potential for disaster is great.”