​‘Sex Superbug’ H041 Is Very Dangerous

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May 8, 2013
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There are two cases of a so-called ‘sex superbug’ in Hawaii, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a resistant strain of gonorrhea.

'Sex Superbug'

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked Congress for $50 million to find a new antibiotic to treat the drug-resistant strain
of the disease. The first case in the nation was identified in a young woman in Hawaii in May 2011.

The ‘sex superbug’ called H041 was first discovered in Japan in 2011. It spread to Hawaii, and has now surfaced in California and Norway.

Peter Whiticir with the State Department of Health says advisories have been sent to physicians and health care providers around Hawaii to be on
the lookout for the resistant strain of gonorrhea.

Doctors are warning that an antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhoea, now considered a superbug, has the potential to be as deadly as the AIDS virus. Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in North America.

“This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly,” Alan
Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine told CNBC.

Nearly 30 million people have died from AIDS related causes worldwide, but Christianson believes the effect of the gonorrhea bacteria is more
direct.

“Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days,” Christianson said. “This is very dangerous.”

In a briefing on Capitol Hill last week, William Smith, executive director of the National Coalition for STD Directors, urged Congress to target nearly $54 million in immediate funding to help find an antibiotic for H041 and to conduct an education and public awareness campaign.

The ‘superbug’ was first discovered in Japan and some health officials have said it could rival AIDS.