Two British women who caught super gonorrhoea have been linked to unprotected sex on the Spanish party island of Ibiza, health bosses say.
The first woman was the first Brit to contract the virulent drug-resistant strain while in the UK.
She caught the disease when she had unprotected sex with a man who had recently returned from Ibiza.
The second woman caught the superbug after having more than one sexual encounter with British men while on holiday on the Balearic island.
The cases, first reported in January, are linked through a common sexual network have increased fears that super gonorrhoea could spread through Europe.
Health bosses are urging people to practice safe sex to prevent the spread of the disease, and tell their sexual partners of any existing sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Both women have since been cured.
Researchers said the spread “was based around exposure in Ibiza”.
They added: “The common link is people who are having unprotected sex on holiday.”
UK health bosses have alerted their counterparts across Europe.
Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England, said: “Two women were treated for extensively drug resistant gonorrhoea in the autumn of 2018.
“These cases serve as a reminder of the importance of protecting yourself against sexually transmitted infections.
“This includes using condoms consistently and correctly with all new and casual sexual partners.”
In March last year, it emerged a British man had caught the world’s “worst ever” case of gonorrhoea after a sexual encounter with a woman in South East Asia.
Public Health England said it was the first time the infection could not be cured with first choice antibiotics.
Gonorrhoea is the second most common bacterial STI in the UK after chlamydia.
What is super gonorrhoea?
Super gonorrhoea is resistant to the antibiotics used to treat a normal case of the disease.
Gonorrhoea is an STI caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus.
It used to be known as “the clap”.
Gonorrhoea is easily passed through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex, or sharing vibrators or sex toys that have not been washed or covered with a new condom each time they’re used.
It is usually treated with a single antibiotic injection and a single antibiotic tablet.
Most symptoms – such as a thick green or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis, pain when urinating and, in women, bleeding between periods – improve within a few days.
About one in two women and one in ten men will not experience any symptoms.
The NHS warns the bacteria can infect the entrance to the womb (cervix), the tube that passes urine out of the body (urethra), the rectum and, less commonly, the throat or eyes.
It adds: “The infection can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby. If you’re pregnant and may have gonorrhoea, it’s important to get tested and treated before your baby is born.
“Without treatment, gonorrhoea can cause permanent blindness in a newborn baby.”