Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Gonorrhea Becoming More Resistant to Drugs
Gonorrhea is becoming increasingly resistant to drug treatment, according to the World Health Organization.
“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 Teodora Wi, a human reproduction specialist at the WHO, in a news release, CNN reported.
Data from 77 countries shows widespread resistance in gonorrhea to older, cheaper antibiotics and in some countries, the sexually-transmitted infection has became “untreatable by all known antibiotics,” the WHO said.
The international health organization said three strains of gonorrhea-causing bacteria that cannot be killed by the best available drug were found in France, Japan and Spain, CNN reported.
Each year, about 78 million people worldwide are infected with gonorrhea, according to the WHO. There are 820,000 new gonorrhea infections each year in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
Alabama Health Department Warns About Flesh-Eating Disease
Flesh-eating bacteria has been found in bodies of water throughout Alabama and cases of the disease have been reported along the state’s Gulf Coast, health officials warn.
They said Vibrio can be contracted in brackish or salt water, and can also affect people who eat contaminated seafood and those with open wounds exposed to seawater, CBS News reported.
The warning is meant to educate “the general public about wounds and water, safe swimming, and safe consumption of seafood,” according to Dr. Karen Landers, assistant state health officer, Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).
“At this time of year, the ADPH receives increased calls regarding skin infections related to wounds and water as well as the occasional, rare instance of necrotizing fasciitis [flesh-eating bacteria],” she told CBS News “Sometimes, people contract Vibrio in the coastal region and do not become ill until they return to their county or state of residence.”
People who get cuts in water should immediately wash the wound with fresh water and soap, and to seek prompt medical attention, the health department said. It also advised people with open wounds and sores to stay out of the water, and said people with with weak immune systems, cancer, diabetes, liver disease and chronic conditions should not eat raw and undercooked seafood — especially oysters, CBS News reported.
In the past year, the ADPH has confirmed 30 cases of vibriosis in the state. Each year, 80,000 people in the U.S. become sick with Vibrio illness (vibriosis) and 100 die from the infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New Court Hearing in Charlie Gard Case
New evidence of a possible treatment for a terminally-ill infant in Britain will be presented to London’s High Court on Monday.
Previous courts ruled that 11-month-old Charlie Gard couldn’t receive an experimental treatment for his condition and that he should be taken off life support. Those rulings supported the Great Ormond Street Hospital’s stance that the treatment was “unjustified” and may cause Charlie more suffering with no cure, the Associated Press reported.
The new evidence about the treatment will be presented by researchers at the Vatican’s children’s hospital and another facility outside of Britain. A favorable ruling by the court could enable Charlie to receive the treatment at his current hospital or abroad.
The infant has a rare genetic disease called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which has left him with brain damage and unable to breathe on his own. The case has attracted international attention.
Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, said seven specialists from around the world told her that the treatment has an “up to 10 percent chance of working,” the AP reported.