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‘A serious public health concern’

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A novel strain of gonorrhea has been detected in a Massachusetts resident, according to state health officials who called this a “serious public health concern.”

The state Department of Public Health today announced it has detected a “concerning” novel strain of gonorrhea in a resident that showed reduced response to multiple antibiotics, and another case with genetic markers that indicate a similar drug response.

This is the first time that resistance or reduced response to five classes of antibiotics has been identified in gonorrhea in the U.S.

“The discovery of this strain of gonorrhea is a serious public health concern which DPH, the CDC, and other health departments have been vigilant about detecting in the US,” said Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke.

“We urge all sexually active people to be regularly tested for sexually transmitted infections and to consider reducing the number of their sexual partners and increasing their use of condoms when having sex,” Cooke added. “Clinicians are advised to review the clinical alert and assist with our expanded surveillance efforts.”

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