Brexit 'Could Lead To Increase Of Super-Gonorrhoea', Health Chief Warns
There's more strange news from the increasingly baffling world of Brexit today, as health officials warn that leaving the European Union could result in an upswing in super-gonorrhea.
Post-Brexit Britain is 'under significant threat' from infection disease unless the government can work out a way of working out a relationship between health bodies in the UK and the EU, the Evening Standard reports.
Currently, outbreaks of infectious diseases are tracked by the UK and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) as well as the World Health Organisation.
The fear is that once the UK has left the EU it could be difficult to maintain such a close working relationship - but owing to the UK's close proximity to mainland Europe, with lots of travel both ways, the chances for infections to travel are high.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said: "At the moment our strongest concern is the huge level of uncertainty. We are just not clear where this is all going to land.
"The only positive is that we can say this is not only about UK patients, it is about European patients who would be affected as well.
"It is in everyone's interest to maximise cooperation. Diseases do not recognise borders.
"We need to put political interests behind the interests of patients in the EU and UK."
'Super-gonorrhea' is a powerful strand of the STI, which is resistant to antibiotics. A man in the UK was recently diagnosed with the infection and, thanks to work between agencies in the UK, EU and the WHO, medical professionals were able to track where the man had picked it up and to investigate if he had passed it on to anyone else.
At the time the case was confirmed, Dr Gwenda Hughes, from Public Health England, told the BBC: "This is the first time a case has displayed such high-level resistance to both of these drugs and to most other commonly used antibiotics."
And, of course, it's not just STIs; other infectious outbreaks such as measles have been tracked by the same health bodies in the past.
Dickson went on to warn that unless the UK can guarantee ongoing access to ECDC systems once we leave the EU, infectious diseases could get 'out of control', due to delays in communication.
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