EXPERTS warn gonorrhoea is on the rise as 240 new cases are diagnosed every day.
The number of people with the sexually transmitted infection went up by 17 per cent across Europe in 2017.
Getty – Contributor Gonorrhoea is on the rise as 240 new cases are diagnosed every day
It follows a decline in cases in the previous year, according to the latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
With 558,155 confirmed cases between 2008 and 2017, Gonorrhoea – also known as “the clap” – is now the second most common STI in Europe after chlamydia.
Gianfranco Spiteri, of the ECDC, said: “One thing the constantly high rate of reported gonorrhoea cases in Europe tells us, is that people keep having sex with new and casual partners without condoms.
“Which makes it easy to pass on an infection that is increasingly resistant to the common antibiotic treatment options.”On the rise
The increase follows an overall trend over the last decade in which 20 of the 28 EU countries consistently reported an increase in gonorrhoea cases.
Since 2008, France and Portugal experienced a six-fold increase, while Denmark and Ireland now record more than three times as many confirmed cases.
Some countries noted striking year-on-year increases of more than 40 per cent, like Finland and Sweden.
Many infections are not diagnosed due to lack of symptoms or limited access to diagnostics or simply are not reportedGianfranco SpiteriEuropean Centre for Disease Prevention and Control expert
Experts found men who have sex with men accounted for almost half of the gonorrhoea cases in 2017.
They added that the rise in cases among women is “concerning” as untreated gonorrhoea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease or cause infertility.
Spiteri added: “We have to bear in mind that the numbers we see do not even show the true extent of the gonorrhoea epidemic in Europe.
“Many infections are not diagnosed due to lack of symptoms or limited access to diagnostics or simply are not reported.
“If you are at risk, make sure to get tested regularly.”What are the signs of gonorrhoea?
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection which spreads through all forms of unprotected sex, as well as by sharing unwashed or unprotected sex toys.
According to the NHS, the bacteria which causes gonorrhoea can sometimes infect your throat and eyes, as well as the more common locations of the cervix, urethra and rectum.
Pregnant women can pass the infection on to their baby, which can cause blindness if it isn’t treated in time.
The signs of a gonorrhoea infection can vary between men and women.
In women, symptoms can often include unusually watery or off-colour vaginal discharge, as well as burning pain when urinating.
Less common symptoms in women include pain in the lower gut and bleeding between periods or after sex.
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In men, symptoms can include an unusual discharge from the penis, burning after urinating, swelling in the foreskin and, in rare cases, pain in the testicles.
Normally, it takes a couple of weeks from infection for the symptoms to emerge – although it can take a few months longer in some cases.
However, around one tenth of men and half of women have the disease without any symptoms, which can mean it goes longer without being treated.
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