A rare sexually transmitted disease that causes flesh-eating ulcers has been reported in England.
According to the Lancashire Post, an unidentified woman between the ages of 15 and 25 was diagnosed with the disease – donovanosis – within the past year.
A pharmacist with chemist-4-u.com reportedly told the Lancashire Post, that if left untreated the disease “could cause the flesh around the genitals to literally rot away.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, donovanosis (Granuloma Inguinale) is spread through sexual intercourse or by coming in contact with an infected person’s ulcer.
The CDC says the disease is commonly described as painless and causes progressive ulcerative lesions in the genital area. These lesions could also develop into secondary bacterial infections.
While antibiotics may treat and stop the progression of lesions, the CDC says patients are at risk of relapse for 6 – 18 months post-treatment.
The Lancashire Post reports that the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV said there have been no prior cases of donovanosis in the United Kingdom.
Donovanosis rarely occurs in the United States, according to the CDC, although it is an epidemic in some tropical and developing areas.
The CDC says that diagnosed persons should be followed clinically until signs and symptoms resolve and that all persons “who receive a diagnosis of granuloma inguinale should be tested for HIV.”