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STD Detectives Take Charge to put end to Gonorrhea Outbreak

Gonorrhea is spreading in the northwest United States. Officials are going to great lengths to put an end to the outbreak, calling on STD detectives to scour for the cause and find more individuals with the infection.

Officials in Oregon, California and Washington are noticing a significant increase in the number of gonorrhea cases reported by hospitals and clinics. The cause has not been determined, but a number of factors are being explored.

What is an STD Detective?detective STD

You might be asking what exactly would be on the job description for an STD detective. An STD detective is not exactly a common role, but it is a real position.

The concept of an STD detective is not new. STD detectives, similar to disease intervention specialists, work to notify people that they may have STDs. In addition to educating the public about sexual health, they encourage people to get tested before disease spreads further.

What’s Causing the Gonorrhea Outbreak?

It’s unlikely that we’ll pinpoint one one cause of the growing number of cases of gonorrhea. Instead, state health officials use existing information to speculate and determine why an outbreak has begun.

Some believe that gonorrhea is being treated improperly or that new strains of the disease are resisting treatment. Others believe that the root cause is a behavior problem, saying that people have gotten complacent about condom usage and protection.

What to do About Gonorrhea

The gonorrhea outbreak in the Northwest is real. STD detectives are scouting out the sources, encouraging people to get tested and offering treatment. In other places across the country, where the numbers of cases aren’t skyrocketing, gonorrhea is still a common STD.

Learning the symptoms and complications is the first step toward preventing the spread of the disease. Since many men may not have symptoms, getting tested for gonorrhea is important.

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How to treat gonorrhea

Think you have gonorrhea (also known as “The Clap?”) You’re not the only one. It’s estimated that over 700,000 individuals have this STD. The bad news: it can be embarrassing, painful and pesky. The good news: it’s treatable.

Do you have gonorrhea?

Just to recap – gonorrhea can impact both guys and gals. “Boy parts” and “girl parts” are typically the organs effected, however it can also impact other parts of the body, too. Here are some of the most common symptoms of gonorrhea:

Gonorrhea Symptoms – in men

penis discharge, burning urination with increased urge and frequency, testicle pain, swelling, fever

Gals Gonorrhea Symptoms – in women

painful urination with a strong urge to “go”, creamy or bloody discharge, abnormal bleeding, bleeding and pain during sex, swelling and tenderness near the vagina

Think you have gonorrhea? Get a confidential, private STD test from your local lab.

Treating gonorrhea

treating-gonorrhea-with-shotJust last week the CDC urged a new plan for the treatment of gonorrhea. Physicians are being urged to use a two-part treatment plan involving a shot and oral medication. Previous dependence on the antibiotic cefixime is losing effectiveness.

Read more about the CDCs recommendations for treating gonorrhea

Receiving an STD test and receiving proper treatment if results come back positive are important. For one, it can alleviate uncomfortable symptoms and help you feel better. And two, it can reduce the risk of medical complications down the line. Did we mention if gonorrhea goes untreated it can cause major problems like infertility?

Nobody likes the idea of being treated for gonorrhea. Or getting a shot. However with our health … and future families … at stake – there’s really not an option. Make sure to chat with your doctor about receiving the most up-to-date approach to treating gonorrhea in the event you have the virus. And whatever you do – make it a priority to get tested if any concerning symptoms occur.



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Know Your STDs and How to Prevent Them: Gonorrhea

It’s not exactly pleasant to think about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but it’s important to know your facts. Knowledge is power when it comes to prevention and treatment, and that’s why we at TEST SMARTLY LABS are here. Read up, and take control of your sexual health.

One of the most common STDs is gonorrhea.  According to the CDC, more than 700,000 new cases are reported every year, and the highest rate of contraction is among sexually active teenagers and young adults.

What causes gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea, sometimes known as “the clap,” is caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae that grows in warm, moist areas of the body, including the urethra, a woman’s reproductive tract, and even in the eyes.

How can I get it?

Gonorrhea is spread through all types of sex via contact with the mouth, vagina, penis or anus. Gonorrhea can also be passed from mother to infant during childbirth.

How will I know if I have it?

Symptoms usually appear two to five days after infection, but some people don’t have symptoms at all, and it’s not atypical for it to take a month for symptoms to show in men.

Symptoms in women include:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Burning or pain while urinating
  • Increased urination
  • Sore throat (gonococcal pharyngitis)
  • Pain during sex
  • Severe pain in lower abdomen
  • Fever


Symptoms in men include:

  • Burning or pain while urinating
  • Increased urination
  • Discharge from the penis (usually white, yellow or green)
  • Red or swollen opening of the penis
  • Tender or swollen testicles (epididymitis)
  • Sore throat (gonococcal pharyngitis)

What are the complications?

Because some people do not present symptoms, they may be completely unaware they’ve contracted gonorrhea and pass it to others without knowing.  Additionally, symptoms in women can be very mild and easily mistaken for another type of infection.  If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, a person can develop fever, rash and arthritis-like symptoms.

In women, untreated infections can lead to scarring of the fallopian tubes, fertility problems, and ectopic pregnancy.

In men, untreated infections can lead to scarring and abscess of the urethra as well as fertility issues.

Both sexes can suffer infections of heart valves and joints, as well as meningitis.

Is it treatable?

Gonorrhea is easily treated by antibiotics if it has not spread to the blood stream or other areas.  Gonorrhea that has spread is more difficult to treat, but the success rate is still very high.

It’s also important to note that health care professionals are required to notify their State Board of Health about anyone diagnosed with gonorrhea to ensure the patient is treated and cured, and that any past sexual partners are found and notified.  The reason for this is that some strains of gonorrhea have developed antibiotic resistance to many previously used medications.

If you have contracted gonorrhea, you should also receive the hepatitis B vaccine, as well as the HPV vaccine if you are under the age of 26.

How can I prevent it?

The only way to absolutely prevent contracting gonorrhea is total abstinence from all kinds of sex. Limiting sexual relations to a monogamous relationship in which both partners have been tested and are free of STDs greatly reduces the risk of contracting gonorrhea.  Using latex condoms during intercourse and latex condoms or dental dams during oral sex also reduces the risk of transmission.

How can I get tested?

TEST SMARTLY LABS offers twenty testing locations across the United States. We offer secure specimen control, accurate and reliable results, and complete confidentiality at low prices without the hassle or cost of a doctor’s visit.  Use the drop-down menu at the top of this page under Prevention Sites or visit our website to find a location near you.

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