(TORONTO STAR) Before antibiotics, many “treatments” for gonorrhea were more cringe-inducing than the disease: mercury injections in the urethra, for example, or hot water flushed into a woman’s genital tract. For men suffering from “chordee” — a complication where the penis becomes curved — one 19th-century doctor recommended placing the organ on a table and striking “a violent blow with a book.”
Mercifully, such remedies are only found in the history books and for more than 80 years, gonorrhea infections have been cured — painlessly — with antibiotics.
But with the rise of drug-resistant superbugs, and sexually transmitted disease rates rebounding around the world, doctors are once again worrying about a threat that they haven’t had to face since pre-war times: untreatable gonorrhea.
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