A bacteria-resistant strain of gonorrhea is sweeping the world, and Portugal is no exception.
In five years, the number of people contracting the disease through unprotected sex here has ‘gone off the scale’ – rising from 89 in 2010 to 468 in 2015.
Data for 2016 and 2017 is not yet available but there are already cases of ineffective response to treatment in France, Spain and Japan, warns the World Health Organisation.
Oral sex is said to be the reason for the outbreak, and the only way to stop it spreading further is for people to use ‘protection’ when they have sex in the form of condoms.
Untreated gonorrhea can cause infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy, warns the WHO. It can also increase the risk of contracting other sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
One in 10 men and almost half of all women with the infection “do not show any symptoms of the disease”which is why prevention is the safest route.