The Super Clap: The Sex Superbug Spreads
May 9, 2013

The Super Clap: The Sex Superbug Spreads

The Daily Mail online reported that a super version of gonorrhea (also known as the clap—yeah, I hated that in high school) has surfaced in Japan, Hawaii, California, and Norway. The super clap is known as H041, and was first discovered in Japan in 2011, but has made its way across oceans. And doctors say that it has the potential to be worse than AIDS in the short run, because the H041 gonorrhea bacteria is more aggressive than AIDS and will affect more people more quickly.

This is not to make light of AIDS. However, there is a new sexually transmitted superbug that we need to pay attention to right now. Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine, said, “Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days…This is very dangerous.”

And gonorrhea diagnoses are already on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain that in the 2010-2011 years, almost 61 percent of the states including the District of Columbia had an increase in gonorrhea rates. Moreover, the age group with the highest probability of gonorrhea infection are those aged 15 through 24. This new sex superbug could have a potential damning impact on the youth of today and the generation of the future.

redOrbit has the facts about gonorrhea in general. In the United States, it is the second most common sexually transmitted infection with only Chlamydia infecting more people. redOrbit stated, “The infection can affect mucous linings in the vagina, cervix, penis, rectum, throat, and eyes. In rare cases, it can affect other parts of the body.”

The symptoms are more prevalent in men than in women. For instance, in men, there is a discharge of yellow or greenish pus from the penis and a need to frequently urinate, which causes burning pain that can be severe. Furthermore, the opening of the penis can be red and swollen. Typically, these appear after 2 to 14 days, although they can appear even months later.

For women, the symptoms happen only when there are complications. Some experience pain when urinating or a vaginal discharge, which is again yellow or green. In women, sometimes the discharge contains blood and has an unpleasant odor. Their symptoms appear 7 to 21 days, if at all. This means that women usually do not know they have gonorrhea unless their partner seeks treatment.

The complications of gonorrhea are many. One main complication for women is pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility. Men experience epididymitis, which can cause infertility in men.

In both genders, gonorrhea can cause arthritis, perihepatitis, and endocarditis, which are blood stream infections. Plus, it can raise the risk for HIV contractions because the lesions permit HIV easier access to the bloodstream.

Obviously, if this new strand takes hold, it means more people may risk serious illness and even death if a new treatment is not found. For this reason, doctors and other STD groups are pleading that Congress target nearly $54 million in immediate funding so that they can find an antibiotic or treatment otherwise for the super clap, H041. They also want to use some of this money on education and a public awareness campaign.

Obviously, practicing safe and responsible sex is crucial for this. Getting regular tests is important as well. Let’s hope that this superbug gonorrhea gets attention and treatment fast.

Image Credit: Mjak / Shutterstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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