There is an outbreak of gonorrhea in New Hampshire
New Hampshire has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of gonorrhea cases. Between 2007 and 2013, approximately 130 cases per year were reported to DPHS. As of January 18, 2017, 465 cases have been reported in 2016, which represents a more than 250% increase. Most cases have been in males and in those under 40 years of age. The greatest number of cases has been seen in Hillsborough County, followed by Rockingham, Merrimack, and Strafford Counties.
What is gonorrhea?Gonorrhea is a bacterial sexually transmitted disease (STD) passed through oral, anal, and vaginal sex. People who have gonorrhea, especially women, usually have no symptoms (signs). For those patients who do experience symptoms, women report burning sensation while urinating (peeing), increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods. Common symptoms of gonorrhea in men include a burning sensation when urinating (peeing), or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis, or painful or swollen testicles.
Gonorrhea can also infect the rectum and throat. Symptoms of rectal infection may include rectal discharge, anal (butt) itching, soreness, bleeding, or painful bowel movements. Infections in the throat can cause a sore throat. Even without symptoms, gonorrhea can be passed to sex partners through oral anal and vaginal sex. If left untreated or someone is re-infected with gonorrhea, it can lead to serious and permanent health problems in both men and women. In women, untreated gonorrhea can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) (a painful swelling of the internal reproductive organs), infertility (inability to have children), and ectopic pregnancy (an unusual pregnancy in the fallopian tubes). In men, gonorrhea can lead to epididymitis and infertility. If not treated, gonorrhea can also spread to the blood and joints, which can be life threatening. If you have other infections, such as HIV, syphilis, or chlamydia, you can be more prone to gonorrhea infection.
How is gonorrhea treated?
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection, which means it can be cured with antibiotic medications however, people can get gonorrhea again (reinfection). This is why it is so important that people with gonorrhea are treated with the right medications. Check with your healthcare provider if you think you may be infected. Due to an increase of antibiotic resistance to certain bacteria, like gonorrhea, two medications must be given to adequately cure the infection. Timely evaluation and management are ways to stop the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea. If you have gonorrhea it is also important that all your sex partners from the two months before your diagnosis get tested and treated in case they are also infected. If you or one of your sex partners has Gonorrhea seek medical attention to avoid complications.
Concerned that you might have gonorrhea or another STD?
STD partner agencies provide full STD testing and treatment services, as well as testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Viral Hepatitis C (HCV). Please contact the agency directly for more information about walk-in hours and appointment availability.
If you are concerned that you have been exposed to gonorrhea or a partner has told you that they have gonorrhea, please notify the agency when you call and testing and treatment for gonorrhea will be provided at no cost. Additional STD, HIV and HCV services are provided at low-to-no cost.
- Manchester Health Department
1528 Elm Street
- Nashua Division of Community and Public Health Services
18 Mulberry Street
- Resources for Providers
- Gonorrhea Fact Sheet
- Information for Patients Diagnosed with Gonorrhea
- Information on Gonorrhea and Where to Find Medical Care
- CDC Gonorrhea Fact Sheet
- CDC Gonorrhea Page
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