Just when you thought Gremlins was the scariest festive story, there are now reports that gonorrhoea is growing so resistant to drugs that it could soon become an untreatable disease.
England’s chief medical officer issued the warning, giving us a belated Christmas present which is even less welcome than a pair of socks or coal in your stocking.
According to the BBC, Dame Sally Davies has written to all GPs and pharmacies across the UK to ensure they’re prescribing the correct drugs, following an outbreak of the horrifically titled “super gonorrhoea” in Leeds earlier this year.
That strain of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) was highly resistant to antibiotics and the medical officer’s warning comes as there are fears many people may not be getting both of the drugs (ceftriaxone and azithromycin) needed to clear up the infection completely.
In her letter, Davies reportedly said:
Gonorrhoea is at risk of becoming an untreatable disease due to the continuing emergence of antimicrobial resistance.
Chief pharmaceutical officer Dr Keith Ridge, who also signed the letter, added that gonorrhoea (which is the second most common STI in England, behind chlamydia) is “rapidly” developing resistance to new antibiotics, “leaving few alternatives to the current recommendations”.
But, hey, Merry Christmas everyone!