WHO Warning: Untreatable Gonorrhea ‘Super Bug’ Spreading Around the World

Category: Health / Jun 06, 2012 1:10PM EDT

New strains of drug resistant gonorrhea have spread to countries around the world, prompting a warning from the United Nations health agency and the World Health Organization.

Scientists reported last year finding a superbug strain of gonorrhoea in Japan in 2008 that was resistant to all recommended antibiotics and warned then that it could transform a once easily treatable infections into a global health threat.

The UN health agency said Wednesday that millions of patients may run out of treatment options unless doctors catch and treat cases earlier.

Countries, including Norway, Sweden, Britain, France, and Austrailia are now reporting cases of the STD resistant to antibiotics.

If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirths, severe eye infections in babies, and infertility in both men and women.

Gonorrhoea is one of the most common STDs in the world, and is most prevelant in south and southeast Asian and sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of cases in the U.S. is estimated at around 700,000 a year.