Everyone Relax, Super Gonorrhea Is Not In America. Yet. But It Will Be. Soon.

Last week, Hawaii News Now sent shivers up and down the groins of sexually active men and women across the country when they reported that the first documented cases of antibiotic-resistant “sex superbug” H041 (aka SUPER GONORRHEA AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH) had reached the Aloha state. This, to be perfectly clear, is horrifying, as a doctor recently explained to CNBC.

“This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly,” said Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine. […]

“Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days,” Christianson said. “This is very dangerous.”

So, yeah. Super Gonorrhea — which, FWIW, would be the greatest possible title for a Syfy movie if it weren’t so real and murderous — is no joke. But luckily, it is also not actually in America yet. The Hawaii State Department of Health released the following statement the day after the news report aired, and the station issued a clarification saying that the cases that were found were actually a treatable strain of the STD. (“Hey honey, I have great news! I just have regular gonorrhea!”)

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) would like to correct information included in a television news story that aired last night on Hawaii News Now, titled “Warning about Sex Superbug in Hawaii.” The report mistakenly linked two distinct and very different strains of gonorrhea. The multi-drug resistant “superbug” strain identified in recent media reports is not the same gonorrhea strain discovered in Hawaii in May 2011.

The “superbug” strain, also known as the H041 strain, has not been found in Hawaii or anywhere in the US at this time. The H041 strain is potentially far more difficult to treat than typical gonorrhea strains.

The news story correctly stated, “Hawaii was the first state in the U.S. to identify azithromycin-resistant gonorrhea in May 2011… This case was successfully treated following standard U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DOH treatment guidelines.

The news story accurately reported that resistant strains of gonorrhea are developing and spreading worldwide.

TO RECAP: It is still safe to have sex in America. For now.

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