SCIENTISTS issue urgent warning about sexually transmitted disease said to be transmitted through kissing.
Gonorrhea can now be spread through kissing, according to a new study by health experts.
And that’s despite the fact that sexual health experts have warned for decades that the common STD cannot be spread through kissing.
Just last month, health chiefs warned of a “worrying” surge in gonorrhea cases hitting record levels in England.
The UK Health Safety Agency has warned that ‘clapping’ is up 21 per cent compared to pre-Covid levels.
Researchers have now claimed that the new evidence of transmission of the disease is clear enough to change the guidelines, reports MailOnline.
Professor Eric Chow of the Melbourne Sexual Health Center told MailOnline: “We believe it’s possible to get gonorrhea from kissing.
“I think the guidelines should be updated.
In January, Chow’s research team conducted a review of six studies examining whether French kissing is a risk factor for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
The review, published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases, found that kissing increases the risk of infection.
Meanwhile, a study published in July by many of the same researchers found that kissing can spread gonorrhea.
“We found that oropharyngeal gonorrhea was associated with contact with a partner’s mouth through kissing,” the study authors wrote in eClinicalMedicine.
And a 2019 study by the same team made them claim that this could mean anyone using saliva as a lubricant during sex could also be at risk.
Writing in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, Professor Chow and colleagues wrote: “A body of evidence suggests transmission from the oropharynx [back of the throat] possibly more common than previously thought.”
“[The bacteria] can be cultured from saliva, suggesting that the exchange of saliva between individuals can potentially transmit gonorrhea.”
A spokesman for the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV told MailOnline: “New research into transmission of STIs is important for our understanding of how they are spread and, in this case, how to reduce the risk of transmission of gonorrhoea.
“Gonorrhea is primarily transmitted through unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex.
“While there may be instances where it’s passed mouth-to-mouth through kissing, this is probably very uncommon.
“This study underscores the importance of getting tested regularly, especially after bareback sex with a new or casual partner.
“It remains important that everyone has access to quality sexual health services to protect you and your sexual partners.”
The NHS states that gonorrhea cannot be transmitted through mouth-to-mouth contact.
Between January and September last year, there were 56,327 positive tests for gonorrhea, compared to 46,541 in 2019, breaking the record at the time.
Gonorrhea is usually easily treated with a single injection of antibiotics.
It is very common, especially among young people aged 15-24.
Gonorrhea can spread to the reproductive system and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to long-term pain, infertility, and other pregnancy complications in women.
In men, it can cause painful infection of the testicles and prostate, which in some cases can lead to reduced fertility.
Many people never get symptoms of the sexually transmitted infection.
But experts fear the bug is evolving to beat antibiotics.
What is gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection sometimes known as “swatter.”
The bacterial infection spreads through all forms of unprotected sex, as well as sharing unwashed or unprotected sex toys.
According to the NHS, the bacteria that cause gonorrhea can sometimes infect your throat and eyes, as well as the more common sites of the cervix, urethra and rectum.
Pregnant women can transmit the infection to their baby, which can lead to blindness if not treated in time.
But the bacteria that cause gonorrhea cannot survive long outside the human body.
That means it doesn’t spread through kissing, hugging, or sharing cutlery, towels, or toilet seats.