What is gonorrhea?

Updated: Sep 07, 2018
  • Author: Brian Wong, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Answer

Gonorrhea is a purulent infection of the mucous membrane surfaces caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. N gonorrhoeae is spread by sexual contact or through transmission during childbirth. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all patients with gonorrheal infection also be treated for presumed co-infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. [1] See the image below.

This patient presented with gonococcal urethritis, This patient presented with gonococcal urethritis, which became systemically disseminated, leading to gonococcal conjunctivitis of the right eye. Courtesy of the CDC/Joe Miller, VD.

See 31 Signs of Sexually Transmitted Infections, a Critical Images slideshow, to help make an accurate diagnosis.


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