Rare sex disease could become next superbug, doctors warn

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A rare sexually-transmitted infection (STI) could spark a "public health emergency" within 15 years if not taken seriously, the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) has warned.

But specialists warn this is set to double within 10 years as the infection rapidly becomes untreatable. It often has no symptoms at all, but if left untreated, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, and ultimately infertility in women.

An estimated 2% of people are infected in the United Kingdom, so The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) has released new guidelines about how to treat and diagnose MG.

"The greatest outcome of this is for the women who present with pelvic inflammatory disease caused by MG, which would be very hard to treat, putting them at increased risk of infertility".

Paddy Horner, of BASHH, said last night: "MG has the potential to become a superbug within a decade, resistant to standard antibiotics".

That is because it is commonly misdiagnosed as Chlamydia, another STI.

It can be treated with antibiotics - but the infection is developing resistance to some of these drugs.

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. Macrolide resistance in United Kingdom is estimated at about 40%, say the guidelines.

For women, it can cause pain or bleeding during sex, burning sensation when urinating.

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". You can't shut down easyJet, the internet, Tinder and Grindr, all of which make it easier to find new partners.

You can get it by having unprotected sex with someone who has it. Condoms can prevent this spread.

"It's yet another good reason to pack the condoms for the summer holidays - and actually use them".

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