The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against a rise in 'super gonorrhoea' - a strain of the sexually transmitted infection that is resistant to antibiotics.
Experts from the WHO have warned that 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.
A report from PHE said there had had been a whopping 70,936 new gonorrhoea diagnoses in 2019 - the highest since records began in 1918.
It went on to say the numbers were particularly 'concerning' due to the fact that the infection is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, making it more difficult to control.
Dr Hamish Mohammed, national lead for sexually transmitted infection surveillance at PHE, said: "The considerable rise of gonorrhoea cases in England, as well as the continued rise of other STIs, is concerning.
"It is important to emphasise that STIs can pose serious consequences to health - both your own and that of current and future sexual partners.
"We have seen that gonorrhoea has become more resistant to antibiotics and expect to see further cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea in the future, which will be challenging for healthcare professionals to manage.
"The consistent and correct use of condoms with new and casual sexual partners is the best defence against all STIs.
"If you have had sex without a condom with a new or casual partner, you should get tested."
Symptoms for gonorrhoea can include a green or yellow discharge coming from the penis or vagina, pain when weeing, and for women, bleeding between periods.
However, some people have no symptoms at all, so the best way to make sure you don't have it is to get yourself tested.
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