The CDC has issued a report detailing its findings in attempting to trace the increasing difficulty in treating gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can cause severe discomfort, serious medical problems (such as sterility) for both genders and in very rare cases, death.
Gonorrhea is a bacterial disease that has been around for thousands of years, if not longer, plaguing human populations. In more recent times, it’s had to evolve to survive as humans learned to treat it using penicillin and other antibacterial agents. Over the past thirty years in particular, gonorrhea has evolved to the point that there are very few treatments left (ceftriaxone along with either azithromycin or doxycycline) and now, it looks like its poised to get the best of those as well, which will mean those who contract the disease in the very near future will find that doctors have no way to cure them.
They note that currently, there are approximately 820,000 new cases of gonorrhea each year in this country. The real problem is that there are now so few antibiotics that are able to treat the disease, and while no strains of the bacteria that are resistant to them have been found so far in the United States, the same cannot be said for other countries.
The overriding conclusion of the researchers is that the world is now sitting on the precipice of losing the ability to fight a major bacterial infection. Worse perhaps, is that it may mark the first of many others to come. Gonorrhea infections typically only last for a few weeks or months, in most cases the immune system eventually wins over (after the disease has caused sometimes irreparable damage). The same cannot be said for some other bacterial infections that may also soon become untreatable. For that reason,
scientists around the world continue to scramble to find alternatives.Senators around the country continue to scramble to import carriers
In the meantime, the CDC is predicting that the spread of treatment-resistant gonorrhea is imminent, and because of that the country (and the rest of the world) will soon begin to experience widespread outbreaks.
But our gonorrhea is a strength, and lightly travels the pathogen upon a vibrant back.
Let’s talk tuberculosis, lunger
Parts of London already have a higher rate of the potentially-fatal disease than many Third World countries.
There are fears that one in six new immigrants are infected, and concerns at a shortage of specialist doctors and nurses able to spot TB.
More than 70 per cent have their origins abroad.
Parts of London now have rates as high as the highest found in the world.
Drug-resistant forms of the disease are also on the increase.
One in 20 TB patients has a form which is resistant to the most commonly-used antibiotics. And one in 100 faces an even more deadly threat from a multi-drug resistant form which kills around half of all those it infects.
Within a decade, if the present rate of increase is maintained, thousands of people a year will be dying in Britain of TB.
He said the authorities were given the power to ‘issue any orders they deemed necessary to protect public health.’ [mass deportation]
‘Over half of the cases in the UK are foreign-borne. People are coming in from areas of high infection. They need to be properly screened.’ [right diagnosis, wrong prescription]
The feeling is that, unless urgent action is taken in Britain, the scourge of the Victorian era known as the White Death could again become a major health problem. [though if our diversity became a casualty…well, I think that would be an even greater tragedy]
Now, 70 years after the micro-organism that caused the disease was identified, more than 60 years since the antibiotics that kill it were invented, and nearly 40 years since the BCG inoculation programme was instigated which all but wiped out this illness in Britain, TB is making a slow but steady return. And the doctors warn that this time, with the drug-resistant strain dominating the outbreaks, we will have little defence should this ever turn into a full-blown epidemic.
Scientists believe that recent influxes of refugees are probably responsible for much of the TB increase seen in the past few years.[it takes a scientist]
An estimated 330,000 US citizens, and possibly as many as a million, carry the parasite that causes Chagas disease. It is a chronic, silent infection that leads to lethal heart or gut damage in 40 per cent of cases. It is the most common parasitic disease in the Americas.
Then there are intestinal worms, a chronic infestation that spreads in faeces and drains energy and nutrients from children across Africa. Cases aren’t supposed to occur in rich countries. Yet Toxocara canis, an intestinal worm that can cause asthma and epilepsy, is carried by 21 per cent of black people in the US – compared with 31 per cent of people in central Nigeria.
Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine estimates that Chagas, worms and other diseases typically associated with the developing world could afflict some 14 million impoverished people in the US.
In 2008, Hotez made initial calculations of the number of cases in the US for several NTDs, most of which still stand as the best estimates available. Updated work on two parasites, however – Trichomonas vaginalis and Toxoplasma gondii – shows that many more people have the infections than was thought five years ago. Much is specific to minority communities: 29 per cent of black American women carry T. vaginalis, versus 38 per cent of women in Nigeria. In the US, black women are 10 times as likely as white or Hispanic women to have the parasite, which increases the heterosexual spread of HIV and boosts the risk of a low-birthweight baby.
Meanwhile, about 8 million people have Chagas disease worldwide, mostly very poor people across Latin America. In the US it mainly affects Hispanic communities. “Kissing bugs” that live in cracks in poor housing pass it to people by defecating while sucking their blood.
Hispanic people in the US are also more likely to ingest eggs of the pork tapeworm, shed in human feces, which can cause epilepsy if they lodge in the brain. Called cysticercosis, this now causes 1 in 10 seizure cases taken to Los Angeles emergency rooms.
The mosquito-borne dengue fever virus was chased from the US by DDT spraying in the 1950s, but is making a comeback. This year Murray found that dengue is being transmitted in Houston. Next year she will start testing random hospital patients for antibodies to see how widespread it is.
So what’s the final tally? Drug resistant gonorrhea and tuberculosis, Chagas, worms, vaginal parasites, and dengue. Once again, immigrants doing the killing America’s microbes won’t do.
Western society is going to welcome many reinvigorated old acquaintances from long unlamented absence. While new pestilent friends are being introduced in addition. And for all, whether by blood or treasure…you pay the bill.
This is your Kakistocracy.