Little Known Sex Disease 'Could Become Full Blown Superbug'

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Per the BBC, health officials in the United Kingdom have set new guidelines regarding the bacterial infection Mycoplasma genitalium, or MG, out of fear improper treatment could lead to antibiotic resistance.

An estimated 2 percent of people are infected in the United Kingdom, so The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) has released new guidelines about how to treat and diagnose MG. If left untreated, the bacteria may ascend through the cervix and lead to a condition called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), Schaffner said. In men, the symptoms include include watery discharge from the penis.

Experts have warned that a little known sexually transmitted infection, that causes infertility, can be the next superbug.

This common mistake has meant the bug has been quietly getting stronger and more prevalent - and because it has been treated with the wrong drugs is now very resistant to any antibiotic. It has also drafted guidelines on how to spot the infection and treat it. It's is passed on by sexual contact but, like all STDs, can easily be prevented by using a condom. If you have symptoms of an STI, we recommend you get tested at your local sexual health clinic.

"The new BASHH guideline on MG is a positive step forward to improving testing and diagnosis", said Helen Fifer, a consultant microbiologist at Public Health England.

MG is on the rise globally.

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Dr Peter Greenhouse, a sexual consultant in Bristol and BASHH member, told the BBC, "it's yet another good reason to pack the condoms for the summer holidays - and actually use them".

First identified in the 1980s, mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is hard to diagnose because it causes few or no symptoms, but the complications can be risky.

Almost half of 16 to 24-year-olds admit they have had sex with a new partner without using a condom, a Public Health England report said in December.

Paddy Horner, of BASHH, said last night: "MG has the potential to become a superbug within a decade, resistant to standard antibiotics".

"We are asking the government directly to make this funding available to prevent a public health emergency waiting to happen and which is already spiralling out of control".

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