Gonorrhea 'Superbug' Hits Australia

Expert warns of 'major public health concern'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 25, 2014 11:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Australia has encountered the most drug-resistant strain of gonorrhea the country has ever seen. The disease, detected in a central European tourist who reportedly contracted it in Sydney, is being called a "sex superbug" by the UK's Independent. While clinics in Australia and New Zealand are boosting their vigilance against gonorrhea, it's not the only area to suffer from resistant versions of the disease.

An untreatable strain appeared in Japan in 2009, the Australian Associated Press notes, via the Daily Mail, and Hawaii, California, and Norway have all seen drug-resistant strains of the illness. Gonorrhea has developed a reputation as a potentially antibiotic-resistant drug, the Independent notes; many drugs once used against it don't work anymore. "This is a major public health concern," says the president of the New Zealand Sexual Health Society. (Last year, an "incurable" strain of gonorrhea made its way to North America.)

A powerful strain of gonorrhea is worrying experts in Australia.
A powerful strain of gonorrhea is worrying experts in Australia.   (Shutterstock)
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