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Delaware Health Alert Network #74

May 5, 2004 6:00 pm

Health Advisory

The Delaware Division of Public Health wishes to alert the Delaware medical community about an important report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC’s April 30 MMWR contains new Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP) data showing increases in resistance to fluoroquinolones (including Cipro) in the treatment of gonorrhea overall (1%), but especially concentrated among men who have sex with men (MSM) (5%).  Surveillance data from Massachusetts and New York City shows resistant gonorrhea rates eight times higher among MSM than among heterosexual men.

Based on this new information, CDC is now recommending that fluoroquinolones no longer be used as the first-line treatment of gonorrhea among MSM.  CDC is now recommending instead that the injectable antibiotic ceftriaxone (Rocephin) and Spectinomycin be used instead as the primary treatment in MSM.  Another recommended drug, cefixime (Suprax), is also recommended but is currently only available in liquid form in the United States. Specific treatment recommendations can be obtained at:

Although the new recommendations only apply to MSM at this time, CDC will continue to monitor both heterosexuals and MSM and will make changes to the treatment recommendations as necessary.

Approximately 1128 cases of gonorrhea were reported to Delaware Division of Public Health in 2003. An estimated 52 of these are MSM. In light of this report, DPH is recommending that clinicians advise their patients about the importance of follow-up if symptoms persist, and be prepared to evaluate such cases by culture.

For further information, contact DPH by calling 302-744-4542.

Categories of Health Alert messages:

  • Health Alert: Conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.
  • Health Advisory: Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.
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