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Please Unleash Godzilla Instead, Super Drug Resistant Gonorrhea Found In Japan

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A superhero strain of the sexually transmitted infection, gonorrhea, has been discovered in Japan. Seemingly resistant to all recommended antibiotics, officials say the new strain, H041, could "transform a once easily treatable infection into a global public health threat," according to KTLA.

The new strain of the sexually transmitted disease -- called H041 -- cannot be killed by any currently recommended treatments for gonorrhea, leaving doctors with no other option than to try medicines so far untested against the disease. Magnus Unemo of the Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria, who discovered the strain with colleagues from Japan in samples from Kyoto, described it as both "alarming" and "predictable."

Antibiotics have been the standard treatment for gonorrhea since the 1940s, but the "bacterium" have developed "resistance mechanisms" to fight the drugs. Historically, Japan has shown "first emergence and subsequent global spread" of various types of drug-resistant strains and H041 has now shown resistance to the cephalosporin-class of antibiotics, the last remaining antibiotics effective in treating gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea drug-resistance has also been reported in Hong Kong, China, and Australia prompting British scientists to take note last year of "gonorrhea becoming a superbug -- a bacteria that has mutated and become resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics."

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According to the CDC, the number of gonorrhea cases in the United States is estimated at around 700,000 per year. Among people aged 15 to 49, the World Health Organization estimates at least 340 million new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections (syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis) per year.