Flesh-eating STI that rots genitals on the rise

Cases of a rare sexually transmitted disease which can cause your skin to rot are on the rise in the UK.

Health experts are warning the bacteria normally found in far-flung places such as South Africa and India, is now being seen in the UK too with numbers steadily on the increase.

Donovanosis or klebsiella granulomatis creates lesions around the groin and genital which can turn into foul-smelling ulcers if untreated.

Data from Public Health England shows instances of the infection were reported just 19 times in 2016, but that rose sharply to 30 by 2019.

And even during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns there were still 18 cases in England, causing concern among health officials.

Most of them were among men, the Mirror reports.

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at MyHealthcare Dr Shree Datta told the Sun: “These figures suggest that donovanosis – which was previously thought to be restricted to places including India, Brazil and New Guinea – is becoming more common on these shores.

“As well as the awful symptoms, it’s important people are aware that it’s a known risk factor for the transmission of HIV. The early signs are lumps around the genitals or anus that increase in size and take on a beefy-red appearance.

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“These can develop into ulcers that, without treatment, can become infected, which can result in pain and an unpleasant smell. It’s more likely to affect men.”

Cases of Donovanosis are still rare with just 114 from 2016 to 2020 in contrast to more than a million cases of chlamydia and 266,000 of gonorrhoea.

Dr Shree added: “Using contraception significantly reduces the risk of contracting the disease, while it can be treated with antibiotics.

“But severe cases can lead to permanent scarring and damage to the genitals, as well as discolouration and even irreversible swelling, so this is definitely one to watch.”

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By Ubong Edet

A passionate Health and Safety professional with a good level of field experience and relevant certifications including NEBOSH, OSHA, ISO, etc certifications. An Health and Safety activist who believes in the growth and continual improvement of the profession. He is going all out to create awareness and safe precious lives.

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