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  CDC: Gonorrhea Now Lethal, Only One Effective Treatment Remains
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ContributorHomegrown Democrat 
Last EditedHomegrown Democrat  Aug 09, 2012 08:31pm
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AuthorBenjamin Fearnow
News DateThursday, August 9, 2012 09:55:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionWASHINGTON (CBS) – The STD gonorrhea used to embody an inconvenience or a slight embarrassment in a doctor’s office. A question such as, “Can I still drink on antibiotics?” was at the top of the priority list. But now, because the bacteria has mutated over the past few decades, a very real question has become, “Will it kill me?”

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), only one antibiotic – a two-part needle injection – remains the sole effective treatment.

“We are sounding the alarm,” Jonathan Zenilman, who studies infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins, told NPR. “Gonorrhea used to be susceptible to penicillin, ampicillin, tetracycline and doxycycline — very commonly used drugs.

But one-by-one, each of those antibiotics — and almost every new one that has come along since — eventually stopped working. One reason is that the bacterium that causes gonorrhea can mutate quickly to defend itself, Zenilman said. Five years ago, the CDC said fluoroquinolones were no longer effective, but oral cephalosporins were still a common/easy treatment. Now injected ceftriaxone is the only recommended effective drug we have left. And it has to be given along with either azithromycin or doxycycline.
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