Hundreds of thousands of fatalities are happening worldwide due to antibiotic resistance to previously treatable infections. The bacteria that cause these infections have become resistant to treatment. Recent developments in the UK and worldwide show how significant this threat is to humanity.

Super-Gonorrhoea in the UK

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reported 3 new cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea in 2022. From 2016 to 2022 there have been a total of 12 cases. The first super-gonorrhoea case was discovered in 2016 and medical experts are concerned that the resistant strain of the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which is in an estimated 7 countries, is taking hold in the UK.

The 3 new cases were comprised of a heterosexual couple in their twenties living in the Midlands and a London based woman in her twenties. All the cases could not be treated with main antibiotics. There is no known link currently between the cases, but public health investigations are continuing.

What does a recent global report say about antibiotic resistance?

Combating antibiotic resistance

An analysis published in The Lancet on January 19, 2022, examined antibiotic resistance, also known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), in 204 countries and territories in 2019. Key points are as follows:

  • The study found that AMR is killing an estimated 3,500 people every day globally
  • Over 1.2 million fatalities occurred in 2019 with possibly millions more
  • Young children are especially high risk with 1 in 5 deaths due to AMR for those under 5 years old
  • There are more deaths from AMR than HIV/Aids or Malaria
  • Fatalities were the highest in sub-Saharan Africa (24 deaths per 100,000 population) and south Asia (22 deaths per 100,00 population)
  • More than 51,000 people died as a direct result of AMR in western Europe, which includes the UK

Professor Chris Murray, based at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in the USA, and the co-author of the report warns, “this new data reveals the true scale of antimicrobial resistance worldwide, and are a clear signal that we must act now to combat the threat”.

What is the UK expert opinion about antibiotic resistance?

Dr Sinka, sexually transmitted infection (STI) section head at UKHSA, commented that, “getting an STI isn’t as simple as taking some medicine and moving on with your life – if not properly treated they can have long-term impacts on your and your partner’s health. Adding antibiotic resistance into the mix makes the impact on your life even greater”.

Dame Sally Davies, the UK´s special envoy on antimicrobial resistance, observed that AMR was, “one of the greatest challenges facing humanity” and that, “behind these new numbers are families and communities who are tragically bearing the brunt of the silent AMR pandemic. We must use this data as a warning signal to spur on action at every level”.

This far-reaching threat backed up with authoritative analysis highlights the important message that early and regular testing, diagnosis and treatment of infections, and especially sexually transmitted infections (STIs), is a necessity for future protection of global health.

How can you check your sexual health?

Better2Know is the world´s leading provider of private sexual health testing services. We can assist you with your concerns about STIs and HIV and offer tests for antibiotic resistant infections such as Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Mycoplasma and more. If you test positive, we can arrange for a follow-up consultation with a specialist to discuss your best course of treatment.

Our highly trained and knowledgeable personal advisors can speak with you discreetly today by phone or live chat. You can opt for individual STI tests and HIV tests or our comprehensive screens which are designed by medical experts such as our Peace of Mind Screen or our Platinum STI Screen which will give you an overall perspective of your sexual health.

Better2Know is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week so you can seek assurance about your sexual health worries. We can arrange confidential testing at a clinic near you, with a private nurse visit, or you can order a convenient home test kit.

Sources

[1] Telegraph.co.uk: New super-Gonorrhoea cases in UK spark track-and-trace investigation

[2] Theguardian.com: Antimicrobial resistance now a leading cause of death worldwide, study finds

[3] Image: Antibiotic / Antimicrobial Resistance (AR / AMR)




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