Southport: Come for a round of golf, stay for the flesh-eating STIs

Donovanosis infection menaces Brit home town of El Reg's HR department

35 Reg comments Got Tips?

The first British case of a rare flesh-eating sexually transmitted infection has been diagnosed in Southport – England's golf capital and home of The Register's financial and HR office.

The Lancashire Evening Post reports that a woman between the age of 15 and 25 was found in the Merseyside town to be suffering from Donovanosis. That's nothing to do with 1980s Aussie crooner and Neighbours superstar Jason, but rather a sexually transmitted infection that in its later stages can cause genital ulcers that eventually rupture and eat the surrounding flesh.

"The usual sites of infection are in men, the prepuce, coronal sulcus, frenum and glans penis and in women, the labia minora, and fourchette," noted [PDF] BASHH, the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV.

"Lesions tend to grow more rapidly during pregnancy."

The diagnosis, made within the last 12 months, is the first in the UK for a disease that is normally only seen in Papua New Guinea, southern Africa, Brazil, and southeast India. Researchers with pharmacy site chemist-4-u.com found out about the case after making a freedom-of-information submission while compiling a study on STIs in the UK.

While "good news" is a relative term when discussing an infection that causes your genitals to be consumed by flesh-eating ulcers, anyone afflicted with the condition will be pleased to know that Donavanosis can be treated with a course of antibiotics and that, when caught early, the flesh-eating part can be avoided.

Unfortunately, as chemist-4-u's Shamir Patel noted, the rarity of the disease in most countries means long odds that a doctor could identify and begin treatment of the condition before your todger starts acting like it just saw the Ark of the Covenant.

"Although antibiotics can treat donovanosis, early-stage cases might be going undiagnosed because it's so uncommon in the UK," Patel told the Evening Post.

If you are unlucky enough to contract the nightmare infection, BASHH recommends you have a particularly uncomfortable conversation with anyone you hooked up with over the past half-year.

"In the absence of any reliable screening test and the long incubation period, all sexual contacts of cases in the last 6 months should be checked for possible lesions by clinical examination," the organization wrote.

In other news, those in the East Chicago area in the US will be happy to know the city's annual Kielbasa Fest is kicking off this weekend.

"Big Frank's Sausage will be offering a variety of Polish fare at the event," notes the local NWI Times.

"On the menu will be the staple sausage, of course, as well as cabbage and noodles, pierogi, stuffed cabbage and more. Hot dogs will also be available."

Mmm-mm! ®

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