Emerging sex disease MG 'could become next superbug'

Women have been warned about the spread of an increasingly risky "stealth" sexually transmitted infection that makes women infertile. The greatest outcome is for women with pelvic inflammatory disease caused by MG, which would be very hard to treat, putting them at increased risk of infertility'. For men it causes inflammation of the urethra and could lead to watery discharges from the penis.

In women, it can cause inflammation of the reproductive organs (womb and fallopian tubes) too, causing pain and possibly a fever and some bleeding.

It's not a great time to be having unprotected sex.

The BASHH says this is concerning.

Dr Helen Fifer, consultant microbiologist at Public Health England, said: "The new BASHH guideline on MG is a positive step forward to improving testing and diagnosis".

This common mistake has meant the bug has been quietly getting stronger and more prevalent - and because it has been treated with the wrong drugs is now very resistant to any antibiotic.

Eradication rates of MG following treatment with one family of antibiotics, called macrolides, are decreasing globally.

Because antibiotic-resistance is higher in many other countries, doctors say holiday romances could drive the spread.

The most recent figures from Public Health England show that diagnoses of syphilis are at their highest level for almost 70 years, with 7,137 cases in 2017, a 20 per cent rise on the previous year, and more than twice that recorded in 2012. "So people need to take precautions".

The Mycoplasma Genitalium (MG) bacterium now only affects 1-2 percent of the public, but BASHH warned in a new set of guidelines it could become a superbug in 15 years' time if proper testing and treatment fails to be provided by local health services.

Gynaecologist Peter Greenhouse said: "It's yet another good reason to pack condoms for the summer holidays".

"Our guidelines recommend that patients with symptoms are correctly diagnosed using an accurate MG test, treated correctly then followed up to make sure they are cured".

"We are asking the government directly to make this funding available to prevent a public health emergency waiting to happen and which is already spiralling out of control".

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