A so-called gonorrhea “superbug” could be worse than HIV or AIDS amid reports that two cases were confirmed in Hawaii, it was reported. However, the state said that some media were reporting on a different strain when referring to the woman who first contracted the disease.
The bug is a drug-resistant variant of gonorrhea.
According to the Daily Mail, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking Congress for $50 million to combat the disease. It said that the bug, called H041, was discovered in Japan two years ago before spreading to Hawaii and California as well as Norway.
Peter Whiticir with the State Department of Health told the Mail that warnings were sent to physicians and others in the state.
In 2011, a young Hawaii woman had the first confirmed case of the strain. However, the Hawaii Health Department told 10 News in Hawaii on Monday that the woman who had the U.S.’s first case of the superbug had a different strain of the disease.
“The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) would like to correct information included in a television news story that aired last night on Hawaii News Now, titled ‘Warning about Sex Superbug in Hawaii,’” it said in a statement, according to the station.
It added: “The report mistakenly linked two distinct and very different strains of gonorrhea. The multi-drug resistant ‘superbug/ strain identified in recent media reports is not the same gonorrhea strain discovered in Hawaii in May 2011. The ‘superbug’ strain, also known as the H041 strain, has not been found in Hawaii or anywhere in the US at this time. The H041 strain is potentially far more difficult to treat than typical gonorrhea strains.”
Earlier this week, CNBC reported that the bug could be worse than AIDS.
“This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly,” Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine, told CNBC.
“Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days,” Christianson added. “This is very dangerous.”