Rare case of 'flesh-eating' STD reported in England


A British woman has contracted a rare sexually transmitted disease that causes flesh-eating ulcers to appear on and around the genitals, according to the Lancashire Post.

The unnamed patient, who hails from Southport, England, and is between 15 and 25 years old, was recently diagnosed with donovanosis, a genital ulcerative disease caused by the bacterium Klebsiella granulomatis.

The CDC states that although donovanosis rarely occurs in the United States, it is endemic in some tropical and developing areas, including India, Papua New Guinea, the Caribbean, central Australia and southern Africa. The Lancashire Post reports that this is the first recorded breakout of the STD ever in the U.K.

Symptoms of the disease include painless, slow-progressing lesions on the genitals that have a "beefy red" appearance and bleed frequently due to their vascular nature.

Occasionally, the infection can spread to the pelvis, internal organs, bones and even the mouth, according to the CDC. The lesions can also develop secondary bacterial infections and can coexist with other sexually transmitted diseases.

Thankfully, unlike other known flesh-eating diseases, such as the often-fatal necrotizing fasciitis, donovanosis can be treated with antibiotics like azithromycin.

However, Pharmacist Shamir Patel, of Chemist 4 U, told the Lancashire Post that "time is of the essence" when treating the disease.

"Any delay could cause the flesh around the genitals to literally rot away," he told the paper, adding, that the bacteria is "also a risk factor in the transmission of HIV."