Health officials: oral sex spreading ‘super gonorrhea’

A dangerous super gonorrhea that’s spread by oral sex has health officials alarmed.

Both CNN and BBC have stories about the World Health Organization’s warning of the bacteria that is rapidly developing resistance to antibiotics.

“The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are particularly smart. Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them,” said Teodora Wi, a human reproduction specialist at the WHO, in a news release.

Oral sex is producing dangerous gonorrhea and a decline in condom use is helping it to spread, WHO said. About 78 million people pick up the STD each year and it can cause infertility.

“These cases may just be the tip of the iceberg,”  Wi said.

Caused by the bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhea, the STD is known to infect the genitals and rectum, but it can also infect the throat — which is used to a barrage of antibiotics for common colds and flu.

“When you use antibiotics to treat infections like a normal sore throat, this mixes with the Neisseria species in your throat and this results in resistance,” Wi said.

Thrusting gonorrhea bacteria into this environment through oral sex can lead to super-gonorrhoea.

What makes matters worse is that about one in 10 heterosexual men and more than three-quarters of women, and gay men, have no easily recognizable symptoms.

Dr Manica Balasegaram, from the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, said the situation is fairly grim.

“There are only three drug candidates in the entire drug [development] pipeline and no guarantee any will make it out.”

New report says 1 in 5 Americans have cancer-causing HPV

The human papillomavirus  – or HPV – is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States.  There are 150 distinct types, two of them are responsible – according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – for 70 percent of cervical cancer

The CDC announced last week that nearly half of U.S. adults have caught HPV. That is nearly 80 million Americans and about 20 percent of them — or 1 in 5 — have the kind the causes cancer. Other types of HPV cause genital warts.

 

 

About 45 percent of Americans ages 18 to 59 had some form of genital human papillomavirus. The report released last Thursday is the most complete look at how common HPV is among adults.

More concerning, about 25 percent of men and 20 percent of women had certain strains that carry a higher risk of cancer.

Vaccinations against HPV first became available in 2006, aimed at protecting kids before they become sexually active.

Geraldine McQuillan, a senior infectious disease epidemiologist with the CDC and the lead author of the report, said researchers were surprised to see the number of adults who had high-risk genital HPV.

Previous data estimated that 15 percent of adult females had high-risk HPV.

“The next step is to increase awareness of the high prevalence of high-risk genital and oral HPV in our general US population so individuals will realize that this is a serious problem and they will get their children vaccinated in early adolescence before they become sexually active,” McQuillan told CNN.

CDC: Sperm donated in South Florida may contain Zika

Zika not only can be transmitted through the bite of the Aedes mosquito, the birth-defect causing virus can be transmitted through sex, as well.

So the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention have issued a warning for men in Palm Beach County and two others not to donate sperm because of the risk of spreading the disease, according to a story by The Associated Press.

The guidance applies also to Broward and Miami-Dade, the later the only place in Florida where there’s proof the virus was spread by mosquitos. Most cases diagnosed in Florida have been of those who contracted the disease by traveling to infected zones in the Caribbean or South America.

“When semen is donated it can be stored frozen for periods of time. It does not necessarily inactivate Zika, so it could be stored in tissue banks, used subsequently and people should be made aware,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told CNN. 

He said women “might want to use these donations from other sources.”

The CDC advisory is mostly precautionary.  There have been no cases of pregnant women being infected by Zika through a sperm donation. The risk is considered low but the consequences are severe. Infection during pregnancy can lead to severe brain-related birth defects

“Now we understand more than we did months ago is that evidence of the Zika virus is present in semen for up to three months after a man is infected and people may not have accurately recalled potential exposure [to the virus] especially if in a local area,” said Dr. Matthew Kuehnert, who is part of the CDC Zika emergency response team and director of the CDC office of blood, organ and other tissue safety.

He was quoted in the story on the sperm alert for CNN.

The FDA, which regulates sperm donations, said the 12 donor banks in South Florida should consider the CDC’s new advice discouraging donations from men in the three South Florida counties an FDA spokeswoman said.

The last case of mosquito transmission of Zika in Florida was in December. But officials expect another outbreak this summer.  There were 221 people who contracted got Zika from mosquitoes in the continental U.S. last year, most in the Miami area. There were six cases in Texas.