STD Donovanosis affects twice as many men than women, and its first symptoms occur between one and 12 weeks after the infection was contracted. The CDC says the ulcers are typically "painless" and slow growing. however they will eventually destroy genital tissue and can spread to surrounding areas of the body.
The woman, from Southport, England, was between the ages of 15 and 25, according to local newspaper the Liverpool Echo.
According to Daily Mirror, the disease can be sexually transmitted, but that is not the only way someone can get infected.
There are red bumps around the genitals or the anus that transform into fleshy red ulcers that bleed when touched, or into a dry ulcer with uneven edge. The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) said it has not found any previous cases in the UK.
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"Bacteria that cause the disease, known as klebsiella granulomatis, infect the skin around the genitals, groin or anal area and cause lesions and skin disintegration as the flesh effectively consumes itself", Patel told the Post. In some cases, ulcers emit a "foul smell", the Post noted.
"Although antibiotics can treat donovanosis, early-stage cases might be going undiagnosed because it's so uncommon in the United Kingdom", said Pharmacist Shamir Patel, of Chemist 4 U, according to the Lancashire Post. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 100 cases are reported per year in the United States and mainly among people returning from areas where the disease is common (India, Papua New Guinea, the Caribbean, Guyana, Central Australia, Australia).
The lesions can be at risk for secondary infections, and those with the disease are also prone to experience heavy bleeding. He added: "Any delay could cause the flesh around the genitals to literally rot away".
While Donovanosis can be treated with antibiotics, treating it quickly is crucial.
The rare STI, donovanosis, is usually only found in tropical countries and up until now, there had been no recorded breakouts in UK.
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