WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- An unnamed woman from Southport, England has been diagnosed with a rare sexually transmitted disease known as donovanosis.
- Donovanosis causes flesh-eating ulcers on a patient’s genitals and can be contracted through sexual intercourse with an infected person.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the disease could be painless but is prone to heavy bleeding.
An unidentified English woman, between the ages of 15 and 25, reportedly was diagnosed with a rare sexually transmitted disease (STD) known as donovanosis within the last 12 months.
Donovanosis is transmitted through sexual intercourse with an infected person, or by coming into contact with a patient’s bleeding ulcer. This is the first time the rare STD has been reported in the U.K. as it is usually seen in Papua New Guinea, South Africa, India and Brazil, according to the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
The BMJ describes the painless STD as “a chronic cause of genital ulceration”, which “bleeds readily to the touch”.
Donovanosis reportedly starts as a firm area of abnormal skin, and then will later develop into an ulcer. The infections can spread to the pelvic regions, or in intra-abdominal organs, bones or mouth while the lesions may develop secondary bacterial infections.
Shamir Patel, a pharmacist at Chemist 4 U discovered the woman’s case of donovanosis through a Freedom of Information request.
Patel said that “this is a very rare and nasty condition and it could be one of the first times it has been recorded in the UK.”
Patel told the Lancashire Post that delaying treatment “could cause the flesh around the genitals to literally rot away.”
Antibiotic treatment may delay the progression of lesions, but an infected person can get a relapse for 6-18 months post-treatment.
“Although antibiotics can treat donovanosis, early-stage cases might be going undiagnosed because it’s so uncommon in the UK,” Patel said.
This case is just one of the many reasons why unprotected sex should be avoided at all costs. If you’re in a monogamous relationship with somebody you’re sure to be STD-free, then you have nothing to worry about.