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, an important public health problem and the second most common notifiable disease in the United States, is a purulent infection of mucous membrane surfaces caused by the gram-negative diplococcus Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Although gonorrhea (known colloquially as the clap and the drip) is most frequently spread during sexual contact, it can also be transmitted from the mother's genital tract to the newborn during birth, causing ophthalmia neonatorum and systemic neonatal infection. (See Etiology.)


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