What is 'super-gonorrhoea'?

Drug-resistant gonorrhoea bacteria. Credit: Credit: Public Health Image Library

As a highly drug-resistant strain of gonorrhoea is spreading in the north of England, ITV News explains what "super gonorrhoea" is.

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus.

It used to be known as 'the clap'.

Symptoms can include a thick green or yellow discharge from sexual organs, pain when urinating and bleeding between periods.

However, around 1 in 10 infected men and almost half of infected women don't experience any symptoms.

Untreated infection can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and can be passed on to a child during pregnancy.

File photo Credit: PA

Super-gonorrhoea is a new strain that has mutated to become resistant to some drugs.

One of the main treatments has become useless against this strain.

The patients are being treated with an alternative antibiotic, but the growing resistance to antibiotics "remains a concern".

NHS Choices has a campaign to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance.

The campaign states that "antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate".

File photo of antibiotics Credit: Reuters

Gonorrhoea is the second most common bacterial STI in the UK after chlamydia.

Almost 35,000 cases were reported in England during 2014, with most cases affecting young men and women under the age of 25.