Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More on STDs

At the same party AC mentioned, conversation naturally turned from herpes to other STDs - namely gonorrhea. (Don't you wish you could have been there?) Most people are probably familiar with Kramer's portrayal of the disease on Seinfeld:

In addition to the burning he describes, infection may also be accompanied by a urethral discharge (sometimes known as gleet). And no, you can't get it from a tractor (but possibly from a blow-up doll). You can, however, get it in non-genital sites such as the throat or eye. Throat infections may be asymptomatic, but common symptoms include redness and soreness. Gonococcal eye infections result in conjunctivitis, as well as a possible discharge.

While gonorrhea is primarily sexually transmitted - so much so that it's presence in children is almost always taken as a sign of sexual abuse - non-sexual transmission (such as from shared towels, rectal thermometers, or even caregiver hands, but not riding a tractor in your bathing suit) does occur. Still, it kind of makes you wonder about that lab pink eye outbreak.