Chlamydia

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Chlamydia

Chlamydia, in a nutshell, is a sexually transmitted disease that casues serious, sometimes irreversible damage to reproductive organs. The disease is spread mostly through unprotected sex with an infected person.Another reason why the disease survives so well is that the cells have a two-stage developmental cycle making the cells more infectious. Part of the problem of diagnosing chlamydial infection is that since so many diseases are more easily seen, which are only side-effects of a bigger problem There are as many as four million cases of the disease per year in the U.S and is the most reported disease in the U.S. as well.


Organism

Chlamydia20trachomatis.jpg


This tiny microorganism may not seem like much but it's characteristics contribute to its effectiveness.


Scientific name

The scientific name for this particular disease is Chlamydia trachomatis but more specifically it is the microbe that causes the disease for which the disease is named.


Symptoms

Chlamydia-1-.jpg

Although many individuals may not exhibit symptoms immediately, there are some sign to look for. For both sexes, they may experience early symptoms like a discharge that may look abnormal or pain when urinating but some people are asympomatic.

In men- discharge from penis, burning when urinating, burning and itching around the opening of the penis, pain and swelling in the testicles, skin lesions

In women- unusual vaginal discharge, burning when urinating, lower abdominal pain or pain during intercourse, bleeding between menstrual periods, skin lesions



Statistics

Since this disease is a sexually transmitted disease, it is not surprising that the statistics for this disease show that infections caused by the disease are quite common. About 4 million new cases occur each year and these cases range from pregnant women, to teens, et cetera. Ninety-five percent of the cases occue between the ages of 14 to 39 in general but the range of ages is wider in males than females. According to some sources a grand total of $248 million dollars are due to medical costs/care for chlamydia. Chlamydia also happens to be the most reported disease in North America.


Treatment

The treatment for this sexually transmitted disease can vary due to each case for each individual person but there are usual cases.Usually, a seven day course of anitbiotics like tetracycline or doxycycline are required for chlamydial infection. For pregnant women a medication called erythromycin is essential.There are also some areas that may offer screenings for chlamydia. If a person thinks they are infected, they should visit their doctor as soon as possible.

THERE IS NO VACCINE FOR CHLAMYDIA! BE CAREFUL!

Prevention- avoid multiple sex partners, use contraceptives, or abstain from sex altogether until the appropriate time.

Note: Just like with any disease be sure to take ALL of the medication(s) even after symptoms appeared to have gone.


Related Diseases/Sequelae

Women

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in women; leads to infertility

Cervical infection which can lead to an increased chance on contracting HIV

Narrowing of the fallopian tubes which cause the eggs to not be able to pass through because the passageways are too small to get through (aka infertility)

Men

Lymphogranuloma veneruem- types L1, L2 and L3 cause this.

Epididymitis- the inflammation of the epididymitis.

Reiter's syndrome (aka reactive arthritis)

Newborns/Young Children Conjunctivitis (pink eye) and trachoma (eye infection), pneumonia in newborns. Trachoma can be seen in older kids as well

Both Sexes

Proctitis- inflammation of the the rectum, which can cause bleeding and discharge of some bodily fluids; can be very painful

Nongonococcal Uretheritis- infection of the urethra. Can be seen more easily seen in men because the certain genitalia can be seen outside the body therefore the symptoms can be seen more easily. It can lead to infertility in both sexes, pregnancy problems, like spontaneous abortion and ear, eye, and lung infections in newborns



References

-1. Slayers, A. and D. Whitt. 2002. Bacterial Pathogens: A Molecular Approach. 2nd ed. p. 452-460. ASM Press, Washington, DC

-2. Kirk, Emma, et al. 2008. Chlamydia trachomatis infection in patients attending an Early Pregnancy Unit:Prevalence, symptoms, pregnancy location and viability. Acta Obstetricia & Gynecologica Scandinavica 87.6: 601-607.

-3. Moore, E., and L. Moore. 2005. Encylopedia of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. p. 74-79. MacFarland & Company, Inc., North Carolina

-4. Datta, S. et al. 2007. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia in the United States among Persons 14 to 39 Years of Age, 1999 to 2002. Annals of Internal Medicine. p. 89-W14. vol. 147, 2nd ed.

-5. Lerner, B. and K. Lerner. (eds.). 2008. Infectious Diseases: In Context. The Gale Group, Michigan

-6. Ross, Linda (ed.). 1997. Sexually Tranmitted Diseases Sourcebook: Basic Information about Herpes, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis, Nongonoccocal Urethritis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Syphilis, AIDS, and More, Along with Current Data on Treatements and Preventions,vol.26. Health Reference Series, Omnigraphics, Inc. Michigan'

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