A sexually transmitted disease which causes flesh-eating ulcers to erupt on the genitals has been diagnosed in the United Kingdom.
The rare STI donovanosis is typically only found in tropical countries and up until now, there had been no recorded breakouts in UK.
However, a Freedom of Information request from online pharmacy chemist-4-u.com found a woman, aged between 15 and 25, was diagnosed with the STI.
Donovanosis, also called Granuloma inguinale, causes genital ulcers to grow and spread, eventually leading flesh in the groin area to begin to eat itself.
According to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), there are four types of donovanosis.
The first and most common type called ulcerogranulomatous results in fleshy red ulcers that bleed when touched.
One version, known as the hypertrophic or verrucous type, appears as an ulcer with a raised irregular edge.
The necrotic type of donovanosis, causes a foul-smelling ulcer which leads to tissue destruction.
The final type, a sclerotic infection is identified by scar tissue.
In addition to the genitals, donovanosis can also appear on the lips, gums, cheeks and in the throat and can also cause permanent scarring and irreversible genital swelling.
The condition is twice as likely to affect men, and can be passed through sex as well as contact with an open ulcer.
The painless STI is treatable with antibiotics, however, early stages typically go undiagnosed and any contact with the bacteria can cause symptoms to appear in one to 12 weeks.
The STI was previously contained to countries such as India, Guyana, Brazil and New Guinea, however, it has also been diagnosed in Australia and South Africa.
Source: The Independent