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NIAID/Flickr

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that gonorrhea is becoming increasingly harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat as the bacteria evolves, CNBC reports. Of the countries studied, 97% of cases resisted the most common antibiotic ciprofloxacin, 81% resisted azithromycin, and 66% resisted cephalosporins given as a last resort.

Why are antibiotics no longer working? Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics if they are used widely or not used properly (for ex., if a full course isn't taken). Teodora Wi, human reproduction specialist at the WHO, explained in a statement that the gonorrhea bacteria evolved with every new class of antibiotics introduced.The WHO also points to a lack of public awareness or appropriate training for health professionals, and a stigma around sexually transmitted infections as a factor in inappropriate use of antibiotics negating the effects of treatment.

What's being done? The WHO partnered with Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative for the development of a new antibiotic, while pursuing tests on the current drugs candidates being studied. They also stressed the need for better diagnostic tests to track and study new cases of gonorrhea along with new treatments. Untreated gonorrhea can increase a woman's risk of HIV infection or infertility.

Go deeper

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.