KHQ MD ALERT: No 'Sex Superbug' In The United States, Despite Re - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ MD ALERT: No 'Sex Superbug' In The United States, Despite Reports

NBC.COM - Reports of a new "sex superbug" threatening the U.S. aren't true, public health officials say, even as they reiterate worries about the rise of drug-resistant gonorrhea.

"The sky is not falling -- yet," said Dr. Kimberly Workowski, a professor of infectious disease at Emory University in Atlanta.

Several media outlets, including The Associated Press, last week reported that a rare strain of gonorrhea known as HO41 had been detected in Hawaii. That would have raised alarms nationwide, signaling the first domestic sign of a strain that's been found to be resistant to ceftriaxone, an injectable antibiotic that is the last-resort treatment for the sexually transmitted infection.

But the Hawaii cases, first discovered in May 2011, were actually a different strain, H11S8, resistant to a different drug, the antibiotic azithromycin, state health officials confirmed. That's been a known problem for a while, Workowski added. The AP later withdrew the inaccurate report.

In fact, the HO41 strain hasn't been detected anywhere in the world since 2009, when it was found in a Japanese sex worker, said Dr. Robert Kirkcaldy, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  A handful of other cases that are resistant to ceftriaxone have been detected in other countries, but they're different isolates, he added.

The false reports have put public health experts in the unusual position of refuting an error while also emphasizing that the threat of untreatable gonorrhea in the U.S. is very real.

"We think that that could be just a matter of a year or two," said William Smith, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.

Nearly 322,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported in the U.S. in 2011, making it again the second most commonly reported notifiable infection in the nation. Sufferers often show no signs, so the actual number of infections is likely closer to 700,000, according to the CDC.

For decades, gonorrhea was easy to treat with a single dose of antibiotics. But the germ is wily and easily mutable. It developed resistance to successive classes of drugs over the years until the cephalosporins, the current treatment, were all that's left.

In recent years, though, there have been worrisome signs that the bug is starting to outsmart those drugs, too. Last year, the CDC stopped recommending the oral antibiotic cefixime to treat gonorrhea after surveillance showed it was on the verge of resistance. Now, the recommended treatment is the injectable ceftriaxone along with two other antibiotics, azithromycin or doxycycline.

"The point was to actually preserve the last remaining drug we know is effective," said Workowski.

The NCSD, led by Smith, has asked Congress for $54 million in emergency appropriations to help bolster the US public health infrastructure that monitors, diagnoses and treats gonorrhea.

"Untreated gonorrhea is a disaster for public health and HIV prevention," Smith said.

The best prevention against gonorrhea is monogamous sex between uninfected partners, Kirkcaldy said. Diligent use of condoms can also avoid infection, he added.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Violent Spokane drug trafficker gets 30 years in prison

    Violent Spokane drug trafficker gets 30 years in prison

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 12:00 AM EDT2017-05-24 04:00:27 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A 32-year-old Spokane man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday, after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges, firearms offenses and threatening witnesses. The United States Attorney's Office reported Tuesday that Aren Lee Perryman, aka Filthy, pleaded guilty to Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Heroin; Possessing and Using Firearms in Connection with Drug Trafficking; and Intimidating and Threatening witnesses.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A 32-year-old Spokane man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday, after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges, firearms offenses and threatening witnesses. The United States Attorney's Office reported Tuesday that Aren Lee Perryman, aka Filthy, pleaded guilty to Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Heroin; Possessing and Using Firearms in Connection with Drug Trafficking; and Intimidating and Threatening witnesses.

    >>
  • Graco recalls 25,000 car seats

    Graco recalls 25,000 car seats

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 9:53 AM EDT2017-05-24 13:53:02 GMT

    DETROIT (AP) - Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained. The recall affects certain My Ride 65 convertible seats made on July 22, 2014 with a code of 2014/06 on a tag that's on the webbing.

    >>

    DETROIT (AP) - Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained. The recall affects certain My Ride 65 convertible seats made on July 22, 2014 with a code of 2014/06 on a tag that's on the webbing.

    >>
  • $190 million settlement going to patients secretly recorded by gynecologist

    $190 million settlement going to patients secretly recorded by gynecologist

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 10:05 AM EDT2017-05-24 14:05:53 GMT

    BALTIMORE (AP) - More than 8,000 patients of a Johns Hopkins gynecologist accused of secretly recording pelvic exams will soon receive their share of a $190 million settlement. The Baltimore Sun reports the final allocation plan was approved Monday. Retired Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Irma Raker, who served as claims adjudicator in the class-action case, says the checks ranging from about $1,900 to nearly $28,000 sh...

    >>

    BALTIMORE (AP) - More than 8,000 patients of a Johns Hopkins gynecologist accused of secretly recording pelvic exams will soon receive their share of a $190 million settlement. The Baltimore Sun reports the final allocation plan was approved Monday. Retired Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Irma Raker, who served as claims adjudicator in the class-action case, says the checks ranging from about $1,900 to nearly $28,000 sh...

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Guardian Reporter alleges attack by Montana GOP hopeful

    Guardian Reporter alleges attack by Montana GOP hopeful

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 8:53 PM EDT2017-05-25 00:53:19 GMT

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A reporter for the Guardian newspaper is alleging that the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat "body slammed" him on the day before the special election. The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office says it's investigating allegations of an assault involving Greg Gianforte, a wealthy Bozeman businessman.

    >>

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A reporter for the Guardian newspaper is alleging that the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat "body slammed" him on the day before the special election. The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office says it's investigating allegations of an assault involving Greg Gianforte, a wealthy Bozeman businessman.

    >>
  • Fully extinguishing Leavenworth fire will be 'ongoing challenge'

    Fully extinguishing Leavenworth fire will be 'ongoing challenge'

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 8:23 PM EDT2017-05-25 00:23:23 GMT

    LEAVENWORTH, Wash. - Update: 5 p.m. Wednesday:  Fire crews report active fire fighting operations continue on the Spromberg fire located approximately four miles north of Leavenworth, Washington, along the Chumstick Highway. The fire started Tuesday afternoon in a 5-acre storage area for logs and other flammable materials. The cause remains under active investigation, but has not yet been determined.

    >>

    LEAVENWORTH, Wash. - Update: 5 p.m. Wednesday:  Fire crews report active fire fighting operations continue on the Spromberg fire located approximately four miles north of Leavenworth, Washington, along the Chumstick Highway. The fire started Tuesday afternoon in a 5-acre storage area for logs and other flammable materials. The cause remains under active investigation, but has not yet been determined.

    >>
  • Suspect who tried to shoot deputy with sawed-off shotgun sentenced to 160 months behind bars

    Suspect who tried to shoot deputy with sawed-off shotgun sentenced to 160 months behind bars

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 8:13 PM EDT2017-05-25 00:13:51 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Wednesday afternoon, 17-year-old Colton B. Singleton, the juvenile suspect who tried to shoot a Spokane Valley Deputy with a sawed-off shotgun in March was sentenced to 160 months in jail.  Spokane County Prosecutor's Office declined to prosecute him as a juvenile and charged him as an adult because Singleton was already a convicted felon.  On March 27, 2017, deputies responded to a car prowling on East Valleyway in Spokane Valley. 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Wednesday afternoon, 17-year-old Colton B. Singleton, the juvenile suspect who tried to shoot a Spokane Valley Deputy with a sawed-off shotgun in March was sentenced to 160 months in jail.  Spokane County Prosecutor's Office declined to prosecute him as a juvenile and charged him as an adult because Singleton was already a convicted felon.  On March 27, 2017, deputies responded to a car prowling on East Valleyway in Spokane Valley. 

    >>