What is the global incidence of gonorrhea?

Updated: Jun 15, 2021
  • Author: Shahab Qureshi, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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An estimated 98 million new cases of gonorrhea occur annually, according to World Health Organization estimates. In comparison, an estimated 62 million new cases occurred in 1999 and 88 million in 2005. In 1999, the number of new cases of gonococcal infection diagnosed in North America was 1.56 million; in Western Europe, 1.11 million; in South and Southeast Asia, 27.2 million; and in Latin America and the Caribbean, 7.27 million.

Gonorrhea was the most common STD worldwide for at least most of the 20th century, although since the mid-1970s, public health initiatives in the industrialized world have resulted in declining incidence of the disease. As noted earlier, however, gonococcal infection is still the second most common notifiable disease in the United States, and Western European rates approximate those in the United States. [26, 27, 28]

Although the frequency data are unknown in most developing nations, these countries are considered to have the highest rates of gonorrhea and its complications. Gonococcal infection rates in pregnant women in the Central African Republic and South Africa were found to be 3.1% and 7.8%, respectively.

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