First case of rare flesh-eating STD reported in United Kingdom

First case of rare flesh-eating STD reported in United Kingdom

First case of rare flesh-eating STD reported in United Kingdom

A woman in the United Kingdom contracted a sexually transmitted infection that can cause your genitals to "rot" away, according to media reports. Symptoms can begin to appear anywhere from one to 12 weeks after sexual intercouse with someone carrying the STD. Untreated, the flesh in the groin area starts to eat itself.

While some call it a "flesh-eating STD", it does not exactly behave like other flesh-eating bacteria that directly and aggressively destroy and kill tissue, but it causes lesions and ulcers that make the affected area have a red, beefy appearance.

The unidentified woman, who lives in Southport, is reportedly between the ages of 15 and 25 was diagnosed with donovanosis within the past year.

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The matter came to light after UK-based online pharmacy "Chemist 4 U" filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request with the relevant authorities. According to the Lancashire Post, this disease does exist - although it is rare - and is called Donovanosis. "You are only infectious to others when you have the lesions, but as the ulcers themselves can be tiny it does cause problems in regards to forming relationships". The disease is found more commonly among communities that are poor or marginalised. There are also possible complications involved in contracting the disease, which can include permanent genital damage and scarring, loss of skin colour and irreversible genital swelling due to the scarring.

"The usual sites of infection are in men, the prepuce, coronal sulcus, frenum and glans penis and in women, the labia minora, and fourchette", noted [PDF] BASHH, the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV.

Patel added: "This bacteria is also a risk factor in the transmission of HIV". It's usually found in tropical countries like Papua New Guinea, South Africa, parts of India and Brazil and some Aborigine communities in Australia.

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Although donovanosis, also known as granuloma inguinale, is treatable with antibiotics, infected persons should seek medical attention quickly, since "time is of the essence", Patel said.

"This is a very rare and nasty condition and it could be one of the first times it has been recorded in the U.K. Any delay [in treating the infection] could cause the flesh around the genitals to literally rot away".

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