Expert: Treating gonorrhea getting harderby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Health experts say they're running out of antibiotics to treat gonorrhea, a common sexually transmitted disease. And they're citing a spike in drug-resistant cases in Minnesota as an indication of their concern.
The Centers for Disease Control says resistant samples of the disease rose from 0 to 7 percent in Minneapolis from 2006 to 2011. That could leave just a single drug as an effective treatment for the disease.
"It's really a dramatic story," says Richard Danila, Minnesota's assistant state epidemiologist. "We're really losing all of our antibiotics to treat gonorrhea. There's several whole classes of antibiotics now that are not recommended for treatment of gonorrhea."
Health experts say the disease is a growing concern, because it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and complicate pregnancies. It has also been linked to increased incidence of HIV.
It's the second most commonly reported of the most closely monitored diseases in the U.S., and infects more than 300,000 Americans annually.