Sexual health: number of people catching STIs including, Chlamydia, Genital warts, Genital herpes, Syphilis and Gonorrhoea in Preston revealed as ‘super gonorrhoea’ spreads

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Health chiefs are warning people to take extra precautions after a spate of cases of ‘super gonorrhoea’.

There have been four cases of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a version of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is resistant to antibiotics, identified across England.

The UK Health Security Agency this month revealed that a woman in her 20s in London and a heterosexual couple in their 20s based in the Midlands were the latest to be diagnosed.

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The first identified case was a heterosexual man in his early 20s, who caught the infection in London in November.

Revealed: how many people caught STIs in Preston as ‘super gonorrhoea’ spreadsRevealed: how many people caught STIs in Preston as ‘super gonorrhoea’ spreads
Revealed: how many people caught STIs in Preston as ‘super gonorrhoea’ spreads

Cases of other STIs are also on the rise, health bosses have warned.

How many people have had super gonorrhoea in Preston?

Fortunately only a handful of the antibiotic-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae (also known as super gonorrhoea) have so far been identified in London and the Midlands. It is not known which local authority areas these cases relate to.

But STIs, including the more common version of gonorrhoea, are not uncommon in Preston.

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According to the most recent available data sourced from Public Health England (now replaced by the UK Health Security Agency), 85 people were diagnosed with gonorrhoea in 2020. This is a rate of 59.0 per 100,000 people.

There have also been numerous cases of other STIs like genital warts and syphilis.

Figures show there were 581 diagnoses of Chlamydia, 79 diagnoses of genital warts, 56 diagnoses of genital herpes and 9 diagnoses of syphilis.

Overall, there were 929 STI diagnoses in 2020. This is a rate of 644.5 new infections per 100,000 people.

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In the North West there were 17,955 cases of Chlamydia, 3,353 cases of genital warts, 2,368 cases of genital herpes and 705 diagnoses of syphilis.

What are the symptoms of super gonorrhoea and how can people avoid catching it?

Health experts are urging people in Preston to use protection and to regularly get tested to limit the risk of catching the infection or any other STI.

Dr Katy Sinka, STI section head at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “After a couple of years without any cases of this hard-to-treat form of gonorrhoea, we have now seen four cases in the last two months.

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“It’s too soon to say whether this will be the start of a longer-term trend, but we do know that STIs are on the rise in general.

“Getting an STI isn’t as simple as taking some medicine and moving on with your life – if not properly treated, they can have long term impacts on your and your partner’s health.

“Adding antibiotic resistance into the mix makes the impact on your life even greater.

“There are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of gonorrhoea and other STIs. Use condoms consistently and correctly with all new or casual partners, test regularly for STIs and if you have any symptoms such as unusual discharge, don’t have sex until you are tested.”

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