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Gonococcemia - disseminated

  • Definition

    Disseminated gonococcemia is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

    Alternative Names

    Gonococcal bacteremia

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Gonorrhea is one of the most common infectious diseases. Anyone who has any type of sex can catch gonorrhea. The infection can be spread through the mouth, vagina, penis, or anus.

    Disseminated gonococcemia can be very serious. The infection can develop several days to 2 weeks after the primary gonorrhea infection. The infection spreads through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. An infected woman may spread the infection to her newborn during childbirth.

    Every state in the United States requires that health care providers tell their State Board of Health about any diagnosed cases of gonorrhea. This is done to make sure the patient gets proper follow up care and that anyone who had sexual contact with the patient is found and tested.

    More than 700,000 persons in the United States get gonorrhea every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In general, gonorrhea is most common in people 20 - 24 years old.

    The disease is more common in large cities, inner-city areas, populations with lower overall levels of education, and people with lower socioeconomic status.

    Risk factors include having multiple sexual partners, having a partner with a past history of any sexually transmitted disease, and having sex without using a condom.