Ibiza 'Super Gonorrhea' Link Found In Two British Women Diagnosed With The STI

The two women both had unprotected sex on holiday.

Two British women who were diagnosed with “super gonorrhoea” may have caught the infection in Ibiza, an investigation into the STI’s spread suggests.

The two separate cases were confirmed by Public Health England in January, but the new report, published in Eurosurveillance medical journal, confirms both women had holidayed on the Balearic island.

The strain of gonorrhoea, officially called Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is difficult to treat because it is resistant to ceftriaxone and azithromycin – the two main antibiotics used as the first-line treatment for gonorrhoea. However, both women have now been successfully treated.

The researchers said it is unclear whether the women contracted the infections in the UK before travelling to Ibiza, or once on holiday, where they both confirmed they had unprotected sex.

Artur Debat via Getty Images

Researchers said the two cases could be linked, because a man who had sex with the second woman belonged to the same “sexual network” as the first woman.

Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England, said the two cases should serve as a public reminder “of the importance of protecting yourself against sexually transmitted infections”.

“This includes using condoms consistently and correctly with all new and casual sexual partners. Anyone with symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or who is concerned they may have an STI should seek advice from a sexual health clinic,” he said.

“It is also important to tell all sexual partners if you contract an STI, which your clinician can help with and can be done anonymously.”

He said PHE has introduced enhanced monitoring of so-called super gonorrhoea to ensure all cases are identified promptly to help reduce further spread.

“While cases are currently very rare, we have alerted and encourage European public health agencies and sexual health clinicians to be aware that this gonorrhoea strain has the potential to spread in Europe,” he said.

Symptoms of gonorrhoea include:

For women:

  • An unusual vaginal discharge, which may green or yellow in colour

  • Pain or tenderness in the lower abdominal area

  • Pain when passing urine

  • Bleeding between periods, heavier periods and bleeding after sex.

For men:

  • An unusual discharge from the tip of the penis, which may be white, yellow or green

  • Pain or a burning sensation when urinating

  • Inflammation (swelling) of the foreskin

  • Pain or tenderness in the testicles.

Source: NHS