Medicine

'Flesh-eating' STD reported in United Kingdom for 1st time

'Flesh-eating' STD reported in United Kingdom for 1st time

The CDC reports that donovanosis is very rare in the USA but common in tropical and developing areas like the Caribbean, New Guinea, India, central Australia and southern Africa. What they found was that earlier in the year, a woman aged between 15 and 25 was diagnosed with donovanosis, the first reported case of the STD in the country. "It starts with an ulcer on the genitals but although the ulcer can get better, the infection remains and can affect your brain and can cause problems for years", he explains.

The official page for the STD describes it as "a genital ulcerative disease caused by the intracellular gram-negative bacterium Klebsiella granulomatis (formerly known as Calymmatobacterium granulomatis)".

If left untreated, the disease can make the infected person's genitals rot because of the bacteria that develops flesh-eating ulcers. "The lesions are highly vascular (i.e., beefy red appearance) and bleed".

The infection "causes lesions and skin disintegration as the [patient's] flesh effectively consumes itself", Shamir Patel, a pharmacist for the British online pharmacy Chemist-4-U.com, told Liverpool Echo.

"The usual sites of infection are in men, the prepuce, coronal sulcus, frenum and glans penis and in women, the labia minora, and fourchette", noted [PDF] BASHH, the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV. Donovanosis is treated with antibiotics, which usually need to be taken for several weeks, and as quickly as possible to avoid complications.

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Donovanosis rarely occurs in the United States, according to the CDC, although it is an epidemic in some tropical and developing areas.

News of the woman's case emerged after Chemist-4-U.com submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to United Kingdom hospitals as part of an investigation into STDs in the country.

- A necrotic infection is deep, smelly and causes damage to tissues.

The woman's case came to light through a Freedom of Information request submitted by chemist-4-u.com, the Lancashire Post reported. It also said that the disease - known as donovanosis - was diagnosed sometime in the past 12 months. "Any delay (in treatment) could cause the flesh around the genitals to literally rot away".


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