A "sex superbug" originally found in Japan in 2011 was allegedly discovered in Hawaii last week, causing fear that the antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea may spread. Now, reports claim that the infection found on patients is not nearly as dangerous as once thought.
The "sex superbug," known scientifically as H041, and was discovered when a Japanese sex worker contracted gonorrhea in 2011. Unlike other strains of gonorrhea, which could be treated with some antibiotics, this new strain could not be stopped.
"This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly," Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine, told UPI. "Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days."
Hawaii state officials then confirmed two more cases of the sex superbug May 1, or so they thought. Because the patients were not responding to initial treatments, Center for Disease Control and Prevention workers believed it was H041.
"It's an emergency situation," William Smith, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, told CNBC. "As time moves on, it's getting more hazardous."
However, it was soon revealed that the gonorrhea in Hawaii was not as dangerous as H041. It resisted initial treatments, but after follow-up appointments, both patients were cleared of their infection.
"There is no multi-drug super resistant superbug yet in Hawaii or the United States," said Peter Whiticir of the State Department of Health's STD/AIDS Prevention Control branch.
Although the sex superbug has not reared its head outside of Japan, the need for prevention and awareness is still high.
"We don't have the superbug in Hawaii that I repeat again, but I think it does raise people's consciousness that gonorrhea is out there, there are new strains that are developing and evolving and we need to be aware of that and protect ourselves," Whiticir added.