Health officials clarifies sex superbug warning: No multi-drug super resistant gonorrhea in U.S.

News reports talked about 2 different strains

HONOLULU - The Hawaii Health Department is making a clarification on a warning regarding a so-called sex superbug, according to Hawaii News Now.

According to the Hawaii Health Department, the woman who was said to have the country's first confirmed case of drug-resistant gonorrhea actually has a different strain of the disease and did not have the sex superbug.

The Honolulu Civil Beat published the following press release from the Hawaii State Department of Health:

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...

DOH encourages screening for gonorrhea and other sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) for individuals having unprotected sex.


Previous story before Hawaii Health Department correction:

Hawaii News Now reports that the "sex superbug" is a resistant strain of gonorrhea.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked Congress for $50 million to find a new antibiotic to treat the drug-resistant strain of the disease. The first case in the nation was identified in a young woman in Hawaii in May 2011.

The "sex superbug" called H041 was first discovered in Japan in 2011. It spread to Hawaii, and has now surfaced in California and Norway.

Peter Whiticir with the State Department of Health says advisories have been sent to physicians and health care providers around Hawaii to be on the lookout for the resistant strain of gonorrhea.

Print this article Back to Top