Sex Superbug: Gonorrhea Strain as Deadly as AIDS?

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Scientists are warning about an aggressive "sex superbug" spread by unprotected sex - a potentially deadly strain of gonorrhea that's resistant to antibiotics.

So far, there have reportedly been two cases in Hawaii, where the first case was documented in a letter from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A May 2011 Gonorrhea sample from a young woman in Hawaii marked the "first case with high level resistance to Azithromycin to be detected in the U.S."

Health officials are taking the threat seriously and are sending advisories around to physicians and health care providers around the state and country.

Hawaii health officials normally see 600 cases a year. They've stepped up surveillance for the resistant strain, which is believed to have come from Japan.

Since H041 was first discovered in Japan in 2011, it reportedly spread to Hawaii, then surfaced in California and Norway, though those cases are unconfirmed.

Some doctors say it "could be worse than AIDS" because it could spread so rapidly and lethally. Gonorrhea can also be hard to detect, without obvious blisters or pain.

It shows no symptoms in 50 percent of women, and 5 percent of men. The CDC has asked Congress to fast track $50 million to find a new antibiotic to treat this sex superbug.

However, Peter Whiticir from the Hawaii State Department of Health's STD/Aids Prevention Control branch said the talk of a superbug is overblown … for now.

"There is no multi-drug super resistant superbug yet in Hawaii or the United States. We don't have the superbug in Hawaii. That I repeat again," he said.

"But, I think it does raise people's consciousness that gonorrhea is out there, there are new strains that are developing and evolving and we need to be aware of that and protect ourselves."

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