Authorities in Wyoming have not detected a drug-resistant gonorrhea strain found in Massachusetts last month.
In fact, gonorrhea rates went down in 2022, according to Wyoming Department of Health spokeswoman Kim Deti. She said there’s no detailed analysis for the year yet, but the numbers appear to be lower than the 523 cases reported in 2021.
Massachusetts health officials in January detected a new strain of gonorrhea never seen in the United States before that shows signs of resistance to every recommended treatment for the disease, the Boston Globe reported.
The bacteria were found in two Massachusetts residents who were both cured with standard treatment, but the new strain’s profile indicates a potential ability to overpower ceftriaxone, which is one drug still used to treat gonorrhea.
Many strains are growing antibiotic-resistant as well, as gonorrhea infections are soaring nationwide, the Globe reported.
Difficult To Treat
In Wyoming, ceftriaxone is likewise used to treat gonorrhea, the state Department of Health indicated in a statement to Cowboy State Daily.
“Gonorrhea that has resistance to ceftriaxone can be difficult to treat, which is why the emergence of these new resistant strains is concerning,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and epidemiologist. “Providers can use results of antibiotic susceptibility testing to guide treatment of resistant infections and may need to consult infectious disease experts. Often multiple types of antibiotics may be needed.”
While Wyoming officials have not detected the new strain, Deti said the department does not culture specimens from each Wyoming patient diagnosed.
“We have received no information to indicate an outbreak with this strain and are unaware of cases that were not able to be treated successfully,” said Deti.
Deti emphasized that for all sexually transmitted infections, “prevention is key.”
She said residents can address STI at knowyo.org, which features the Department’s services of free at-home testing and free condoms.
“Many sexually transmitted infections do concerns not have obvious symptoms and can lead to serious health issues if left untreated,” said Deti.
In both 2020 and 2021, Fremont County had the highest gonorrhea rates in Wyoming.