“There’s no question, gonorrhea (aka “the clap”) is developing resistance to every drug created to fight it,” stated William Smith, executive director of the National Coalition of STD services and programs to combat sexually transmitted diseases.
In fact, it has gotten so bad that the CDC has issued its highest warning level on the disease, labeling it an “urgent threat to the health of everyone in the US.”
Gonorrhea is now the second most reported comunicable disease in America next to chlamydia, with more than 820,000 new cases diagnosed each year, 246,000 of which are now proving to be the drug resistant strain.
Caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria, infections are spread from person to person during vaginal and/or anal intercourse as well as through oral sex. While women have a 60%-80% of contracting it from a single encounter with an infected man, men have only a 20% risk of getting gonorrhea from a single act of vaginal intercourse with an infected woman. However, the danger is higher for men who have sex with men. An infected mother may transmit the disease to her baby during childbirth. Contrary to popular belief, gonorrhea cannot be spread by toilets or bathrooms.
While most women who contract gonorrhea don’t exhibit any outward symptoms, others experience pelvic pain, especially during intercourse, and have vaginal discharge. Infected men, however, generally experience burning with urination and discharge from the penis. Both sexes may also get gonorrhea of the throat from performing oral sex on an infected partner (usually male). The later is usually asymptomatic, although about 10% of those infected get sore throats. incubation period is 2 to 14 days with most of these symptoms occurring between 4–6 days after being infected.
If left untreated, gonorrhea can travel through the blood stream resulting in skin lesions and pain and swelling in the joints, as well as settle in the heart causing endocarditis or in the spinal column causing meningitis, especially in people with already compromised immune systems.
For more information contact the CDC at 1600 Clifton Rd., Altanta, GA 30333 800 232-4636.