Man gets painful, drug-resistant ‘super gonorrhoea’ on holiday in Cambodia

Experts have warned of a potential “global health threat” after a traveller in Cambodia contracted a drug-resistant strain of an STI after visiting a sex worker.

An Austrian man has reportedly caught a new strain of “super gonorrhoea” while on holiday in Cambodia, as experts warn the drug-resistant STD could pose a “major global public health threat”.

It is thought the traveller caught the sexually transmitted disease after visiting a sex worker while in the Southeast Asian country, the New York Post reports.

According to the World Health Organisation, “super gonorrhoea” refers to a strain that has a high level of resistance to currently recommended treatments.

If multidrug-resistant strains of gonorrhoea start to spread, many cases of the STD might become untreatable.

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A report published last week in Eurosurveillance warned that the new strain could pose a “major global public health threat,” according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

“If such strains manage to establish a sustained transmission, many gonorrhoea cases might become untreatable,” the report read.

The report detailed that the man in his 50s had unprotected sex with a female sex worker in Cambodia in April 2022 and, five days later, he experienced pain while urinating and witnessed a discharge coming out of his penis.

He was given antibiotics, which resolved the symptoms, but more testing still showed a positive result, so he was further treated with an antibiotic containing penicillin called co-amoxiclav.

According to the Mayo Clinic, if left untreated, gonorrhoea can cause infertility in both women and men, can increase the risk of HIV/AIDS or could spread to the joints and other areas of the body.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, gonorrhoea is one of the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infections in the United States.

In Australia, cases of gonorrhoea increased 123 per cent from 2015 to 2020 and roughly 16 per cent of Aussies will report having and STI during their lifetime.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as ‘Global threat’: Warnings as case of drug-resistant ‘super gonorrhoea’ found