The World Health Organization (WHO) is sounding the alarm on Gonorrhea, which they warn may eventually become "impossible to treat." This is due to newly evolved strains of the Disease that have become drug resistant, which will eventually make the disease resistant to all drugs used to fight the disease.

The rise of drug-resistant gonorrhea

In a new analysis of gonorrhea, researchers with the WHO using data from 77 different countries have found that antibiotic resistance to the disease is making it much more difficult to treat. In some cases, it was discovered that the disease was impossible to treat with any drugs.

It was found that gonorrhea had developed a widespread resistance to drugs that have normally been used to treat it. These untreatable cases of gonorrhea were found to be more common in wealthier countries than lower income countries, where the disease is more common. However, the researchers said that this was due to wealthier countries having better observation methods to track the disease, whereas methods to diagnose and report these untreatable cases were absent in poorer countries.

What is causing this rise?

The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are very intelligent, according to epidemiologist Teodara Wi from the WHO. Each time a new batch of antibiotics is used to treat an infection, the bacteria will evolve to resist them.

The WHO has said that there are several causes behind this including, insufficient and failed treatment of the disease, low infection detection rates, urbanization, growing travel worldwide and a decrease in condom use.

More than 50 countries in the WHO's research reported resistance to the "current last resort treatment" of the disease.

The WHO also warned that only three new drugs to fight the disease were in development and at least one of these needed to be accelerated in its production process. In the meantime, the best thing to do is focus on prevention of the disease and increased awareness about symptoms, condom use, and sexually transmitted infections.

What is gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that is estimated to infected around 78 million people globally every year. The disease can be transmitted by either anal, oral, or vaginal sex, which means that it can infect the rectum, throat or genitals. It can also be spread from mother to child during birth.

Many people with the disease never develop or experience noticeable symptoms. Symptoms of the disease include a greater frequency of urination, a pus-like discharge from the genitals, swelling, redness, and pain in the genitals and a sore throat. Women will also get heavier periods or spotting, as well as sharp pains in the lower abdomen. Over the long-term, women can develop a pelvic inflammatory disease and can also become infertile due to scarring or blockage of the fallopian tubes. Men can experience scarring of the urethra and can have reduced fertility or become sterile.