A once-rare flesh-eating sexually transmitted disease that causes “beefy red” ulcers is spreading across the UK, according to a report Friday.
Cases of donovanosis — which causes thick sores that damage genital tissue — have been steadily growing in the region since 2016, and cases are expected to rise, according to data and experts cited by Birmingham Live.
“Figures suggest that donovanosis — which was previously thought to be restricted to places including India, Brazil, and New Guinea — is becoming more common on these shores,” Dr. Datta, of MyHealthCare Clinic in London, told the outlet.
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Health officials reported 30 cases of the STD in the UK in 2019, but more infections in the past two years could pose a public-health risk, she warned.
The STD is generally transmitted through unprotected sex, but in rare cases, it can be spread through non-sexual skin-on-skin contact and to newborn babies through their moms.
Symptoms include “bulging red bumps,” “damaged skin” and “loss of genital tissue color,” according to Healthline.com.
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The STD is more common in parts of India, Papua New Guinea, central Australia, the Caribbean and southern Africa, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Long-term treatment, including antibiotics, is needed to cure the disease.