August 23, 2018
An woman in England has been diagnosed with a rare flesh-eating, sexually-transmitted infection, according to the Lancashire Post.
The diagnosis marked the United Kingdom's first known case of donovanosis, a bacterial infection more commonly found in India, Papua New Guinea, Australia, the Caribbean and southern Africa.
The disease rarely occurs in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Donovanosis causes progressive genital ulcers that bleed and destroy the skin, according to the CDC. Yet, the ulcers – which appear as beefy, red lumps – are typically painless.
Symptoms typically occur 1 to 12 weeks after infection. Antibiotics have been used to treat the disease, but relapse can occur 6 to 18 months following treatment.
Pharmacist Shamir Patel described the disease as "very rare and nasty condition" in an interview with the Lancashire Post.
"Bacteria that cause the disease, known as klebsiella granulomatis, infect the skin around the genitals, groin or anal area and causes lesions and skin disintegration as the flesh effectively consumes itself," Patel said.
The England case was diagnosed within the last 12 months in a woman between the age of 15 and 25, according to the newspaper. The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV previously searched for additional cases, but never found any.