Health warning as sex disease spikes in Wide Bay
A HEALTH warning has been issued for a sex disease currently being reported at three times the average rate in the Wide Bay.
So far 120 cases of gonorrhoea have been reported in the region this year, compared to the four-year average of 40 cases a year.
Cases are up across the state, with 5070 cases across Queensland so far in 2019 competed t the four-year average of 3422 cases.
Queensland Health issued an alert this week, warning of an alarming increase in gonorrhoea cases and two cases of extensively drug-resistant strains of the disease.
Dr Amy Jennison, acting chief scientist of Public Health Microbiology, Forensic and Scientific Services at Queensland Health said those patients had to be given specialised antibiotics that required hospitalisation and an IV.
She said gonorrhoea had previously been generally associated with groups practicing high-risk unprotected sex practices, but it was expanding into the rest of the population.
"Ages are increasing and we're seeing it in our heterosexual population including older women," she said.
"Previously we rarely saw cases in older women, but we are now seeing older Queenslanders presenting with gonorrhoea."
The disease can lead to fertility issues in both men and women if untreated.
It can also cause septic arthritis and increase the risk of HIV transmission.
"It is important all sexually active people are aware of safe sexual practices," Dr Jennison said.