SUPER gonorrhoea has taken hold as seven new strains of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) emerged fuelling fears of an outbreak.
Doctors have been unable to treat patients with antibiotic ceftriaxone and azithromycin.
And sufferers have been left with a gonorrhoea – also known as the clap – infection that causes extreme pain during urination.
Australia’s federal government has issued a report warning of the risk of the “continuing threat of antimicrobial resistance by dangerous bacteria”.
Officials added another five strains of gonorrhoea have been found which have “high level resistance” to treatments.
He said: “To prevent sexually transmitted infections, either to yourself or others, it is best to practice safe sex.
“Safe sex includes using a condom or dental dam to ensure that you do not pass an infection on to your partner.”
Doctors revealed the seven new gonorrhoea strains in their biannual report for the National Alert System for Critical Antimicrobial Resistance.
Around 38% of cases of drug resistant infections in Australia are found to be gonorrhoea.
It said: “For the first time, two extensively drug resistant gonorrhoeae infections have been reported in Australia, following a report in the United Kingdom of a similar strain.
“These infections are unable to be treated with the recommended treatments of ceftriaxone and azithromycin.”
Gonorrhoea is spread through all forms of sex and can leave women infertile if untreated.
World Health Organisation officials raised concerns two years ago that the STI could become immune to antibiotics in a “matter of years”.
Fears of a super gonorrhoea spread were raised early this year, when two cases were diagnosed in what doctors described as a “shot across the bow”.
And worryingly the infection does not always cause symptoms – so it can regularly go untreated.
Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina are the most common signs and it can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease.
Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies has previously written to GPs warning that gonorrhoea could become an “untreatable disease”.