‘Flesh-Eating’ STI Disease ‘On The Rise’ In The UK

A 'flesh-eating' STI, called donovanosis, is on the rise in the UK, according to an expert. 
Credit: Unsplash

A ‘flesh-eating’ STI, called donovanosis, is on the rise in the UK, according to an expert. 

The disease causes painful ulcers in the genital region and can lead to permanent scarring and swelling. 

Dr Shree Datta from MyHealthCare Clinic has issued a warning about the rise in cases.

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'flesh-eating' STI
Dr Shree Datta from MyHealthCare clinic in London has warned about the rise in cases in the UK. Credit: DrShreeDatta/Twitter

She told The Sun: “These figures suggest that donovanosis, which was previously thought to be restricted to places including India, Brazil and New Guinea, is becoming more common on these shores.

“As well as the awful symptoms, it’s important people are aware that it’s a known risk factor for the transmission of HIV.

“The early signs are lumps around the genitals or anus that increase in size and take on a beefy-red appearance.

“These can develop into ulcers that, without treatment, can become infected, which can result in pain and an unpleasant smell. It’s more likely to affect men.”

It’s reported the disease is also commonly found in the Caribbean and central Australia. 

It was named the ‘flesh-eating STI’ when a case was recorded in the UK, but it doesn’t actually rot flesh. 

Public Health England data shows that cases are still rare, although increasing. The number jumped from 19 in 2016, to 30 in 2019.

According to Healthline, early treatment with antibiotics is essential for preventing complications with the disease. 

The infection can take several months to clear up following treatment and can lead to permanent inflammation, scarring and tissue discolouring.

Dr Datta claims contraception reduces the risk of getting the disease.

She said: “Using contraception significantly reduces the risk of contracting the disease, while it can be treated with antibiotics.”

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.