Gonorrhoea infections on the rise in the East Riding, new figures show

Gonorrhoea infections rose in the East Riding last year, figures show, as cases across England hit their highest level in over a century.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 12:22 pm
Public Health England figures show 110 cases of gonorrhoea were diagnosed in the East Riding of Yorkshire in 2019. Photo: PA Images

Experts say the large rise in gonorrhoea diagnoses nationally is worrying, with the sexually transmitted infection becoming more resistant to antibiotics over time.

Public Health England figures show 110 cases of gonorrhoea were diagnosed in the East Riding in 2019.

That was up by 13% from the 97 infections reported a year earlier, and the highest number since comparable local records began in 2012.

It meant the area had a gonorrhoea infection rate of 32 per 100,000 people – below Yorkshire and the Humber’s average rate of 81. Across England as a whole, 126 in every 100,000 people was infected with gonorrhoea last year.

Gonorrhoea is the second most common bacterial STI in the UK after chlamydia and can sometimes be symptomless.

Dr Hamish Mohammed, national lead for sexually transmitted infection surveillance at PHE, said: “The considerable rise of gonorrhoea cases in England as well as the continued rise of other STIs is concerning.

“It is important to emphasise that STIs can pose serious consequences to health.”

The overall STI cases fell to 1,229 last year, down by 7% from 1,322 in 2018.

Dr John McSorley, president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, said the year-on-year rise in STI diagnoses is “hugely concerning”.

PHE said it is analysing the data to understand the impact of the Covid-19 response on HIV and STI services and the effect of social distancing measures on the spread of STIs.