CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Health officials say a new antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea is on the rise.
The World Health Organization announced their findings based on data from 77 countries.
"The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are particularly smart. Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them," said Dr Teodora Wi, Medical Officer, Human Reproduction, at the world Health Organization.
The World Health Organization reported widespread resistance to older and cheaper antibiotics.
"Some countries – particularly high-income ones, where surveillance is best – are finding cases of the infection that are untreatable by all known antibiotics," WHO officials said.
"These cases may just be the tip of the iceberg, since systems to diagnose and report untreatable infections are lacking in lower-income countries where gonorrhea is actually more common," adds Dr Wi.
According to officials, each year, an estimated 78 million people are infected with gonorrhea.