Monday, August 13, 2012

CDC issues new treatment guidelines for gonorrhea.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new treatment guidelines for gonorrhea received a significant amount of coverage, both in print and online, with most sources quoting Gail Bolan, director of the Division of STD Prevention at the CDC. USA Today (8/10, Szabo) reports, "Federal health officials took steps Thursday to head off the emergence of a new gonorrhea 'superbug' that's resistant to standard antibiotics." Physicians "at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new treatment guidelines" that "call for withholding a potent oral antibiotic now commonly used to treat the infection." Rather, physicians "should use an injectable form to which the gonorrhea bacteria seems less likely to develop resistance, along with a second type of antibiotic pills."
        The Wall Street Journal (8/10, McKay) reports that Bolan said, "We're trying to sound the alarm to prevent untreatable gonorrhea from becoming a reality." Bolan added, "We're very concerned." According to Bolan, both the CDC and National Institutes of Health are currently attempting to identify whether any medications that are already available could potentially be used to treat the condition.
        Reuters (8/10, Steenhuysen) reports that Bolan said, "The change in antibiotic treatment guidelines we are making today is a critical pre-emptive strike to preserve the last effective treatment option." During a telephone briefing, Bolan said, "This will not solve the problem of drug-resistant gonorrhea once and for all, but it may buy us time to allow researchers and drug developers to develop new treatments."
        The NPR (8/10, Stein) "Shots" blog reports that Bolan said, "We're basically down to one the most effective treatment for gonorrhea." Bolan added, "We feel we need to a take a critical step to preserve the last remaining drug we know is effective to treat gonorrhea."
        The Washington Times (8/10, Wetzstein) quotes Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDs, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) and Tuberculosis Prevention at the CDC, as saying, "This change is a critical pre-emptive strike to preserve ceftriaxone, our last proven treatment option."
        Bloomberg News (8/10, Lopatto, Smialek) reports, "'Gonorrhea is very good at picking up antibiotic resistance,' said Carlos del Rio, a professor of medicine at Emory University in Atlanta and a member of the CDC's gonorrhea surveillance program, by telephone." He added, "In a way, it's the canary in the coal mine for antibiotic resistance in the STD setting."
        HealthDay (8/10, Gardner) reports, "Noting that abstinence and monogamy are the greatest protective measures, the CDC said that groups at greatest risk -- sexually active gay and bisexual men and high-risk sexually active women -- should be tested for gonorrhea at least once a year."
        According to MedPage Today (8/10, Smith), "Details of the revised guidelines appear in the August 10 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report."

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