A sexual health expert has warned that Brits could be facing a gonorrhoea boom once lockdown lifts and life starts to return to normal.
British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) President Dr John McSorley has raised concerns that as restrictions are lifted, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) could rise.
Speaking to MyLondon, Dr McSorley said: "There are a lot of similarities between Covid and STIs. The notions of social distancing and isolating have been in sexual health for a long time.
"We are on our way back to where we were a year ago. As we open society up again we can expect more gonorrhoea and syphilis.
"People are rebounding back to living a normal life as they can and that includes a safe and entertaining sex life.
"About 80 to 90 percent of people have seen their sexual activity reduced in the last year."
The doctor went on to say that the clinics he works at in west London have seen a five percent increase week on week - adding: "They have seen a slow and controlled increase in clinics.
"The bigger problem is long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). It is the area that requires the greatest action."
Last year, the World Health Organisation warned against a strain of gonorrhoea that is resistant to antibiotics.
Nicknamed 'super gonorrhoea', experts warned the STI may become untreatable with antibiotics, due to their overuse.
Speaking to The Sun, a WHO spokesperson said: "Overuse of antibiotics in the community can fuel the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in gonorrhoea.
"Azithromycin - a common antibiotic for treating respiratory infections - was used for Covid-19 treatment earlier in the epidemic.
"During the pandemic, STI services have also been disrupted. This means more STI cases are not diagnosed properly with more people self-medicating as a result.
"Such a situation can fuel emergence of resistance in gonorrhoea including gonorrhoea superbug (super gonorrhoea) or gonorrhoea with high level resistance to current antibiotics recommended to treat it."
The spokesperson added: "Resistant strains in gonorrhoea continue to be a critical challenge to STI prevention and control efforts."
The UK has the highest rate of gonorrhoea in Europe - so much so that back in September, Public Health England urged Brits to practise safe sex.
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Topics: UK News