UK Outbreak Alert: Rare 'Flesh-Eating' STD Reported in England
Rare sexually transmitted disease recorded that 'rots' genitalia
A rare flesh-eating STD (sexually transmitted disease) has been reported in the UK, officials warn.
An unnamed female patient, who lives in Southport, England has been diagnosed with Donovanosis - a rare bacterial infection that "rots genitalia."
The disorder is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact with someone with a bleeding, foul-smelling ulcer that causes the genitals to "erupt and rot."
Officials from Public Health England have warned that the disease is typically found in more tropical countries, but the infection has now made its way to the United Kingdom where it can be passed through sexual contact by the infected.
According to Metro, the ulcers then destroy tissue in the genitals.
The bacteria that causes the infection is extremely rare in the UK with only a handful of cases every year.
It is more commonly found in tropical locations in the Americas, Southern Africa, and Oceania regions.
Pharmacist Shamir Patel, from Chemist 4U, found out about the case from a Freedom of Information request.
Mr. Patel told the Liverpool Echo: "Bacteria that cause the disease, known as klebsiella granulomatis, infect the skin around the genitals, groin or anal area and cause lesions and skin disintegration as the flesh effectively consumes itself."
Speaking about the treatment of donovanosis, he said: "Any delay could cause the flesh around the genitals to literally rot away.
"This bacteria is also a risk factor in the transmission of HIV."
Public Health England said: "Donovanosis primarily occurs in tropical countries or regions of the Americas, Southern Africa, and Oceania.
"It is very rarely diagnosed and reported in the UK."
What is donovanosis?
According to Medline Plus, Donovanosis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is rarely seen in the UK or US.
It more commonly occurs in tropical and subtropical regions such as Southeast India, Guyana, and New Guinea.
Cases that occur in the UK or US are usually due to people having sex in places where the STI is common.
Donovanosis can be spread via vaginal, anal or oral sex.
It affects more than twice as many men as women, with those aged 20 to 40 being the most likely to suffer.
Symptoms generally occur between one and 12 weeks of exposure to the bacteria Granuloma inguinale.
These include: Red bumps on the genitals or around the anus Worn away skin due to bumps ulcerating Genital and groin tissue damage Discolouration around the intimate area Treatment requires antibiotics, which are usually taken for three weeks or until the sores have healed.
Untreated, patients can suffer permanent genital damage, scarring, and discoloration.