New Telegraph

Social Diseases 1 (The Clap; Gonorrhea)

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The scene

It’s been a long time at sea. The crew couldn’t wait to unwind at the nearest city, they felt liberated; off they zoom into the night. They had money to throw around, a thing led to the other and some actually had unprotected sexual exposure. About 5 days later at sea, 2 of them complained of severe pain during urination and whitish discharge from the urinary opening. This could point to Gonorrhea aka ‘’The clap’ aka The drip. A Social disease is a communicable infection transmitted by sexual intercourse or genital contact.


Earliest records of the disease are was in 1611 when the English parliament enacted a law to ensure that the spread of the infection is decreased and curbed. This shows the magnitude of the public health problem this infection had posed then. However, even then the cause of the infection was unknown. A German physician named Albert Ludwig Sigesmund Neisser discovered the pathogen of gonorrhea in 1879. Thus, the strain of bacteria is named for his discovery. According to some historians the name (Clap) came about because the infected person would experience a clapping sensation that appeared suddenly when urinating. Others say that the name originated because in order to remove the pus-like discharge from the penis, the penis had to be clapped on both sides. Still others believe that the name comes from French brothels, which were known as les clapiers, and men who visited these brothels invariably ended up with the infection.

What it is

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can infect both men and women. The causative agent is a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrheae. . Gonorrhea bacteria can grow in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb), and fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women, and in the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body) in women and men. The bacteria can also grow in the mouth, throat, and anus.


Gonorrhea is spread through sexual contact with an infected person. This includes oral, anal, and vaginal sex. It can also spread from a mother to a child during birth. Men have a 20% risk of getting the infection from a single act of vaginal intercourse with an infected woman. The risk for men that have sex with men (MSM) is higher. Active MSM may get a penile infection, while passive MSM may get anorectal gonorrhea. Women have a 60–80% risk of getting the infection from a single act of vaginal intercourse with an infected man. Female anatomy puts women more at risk than men. Female genitals are thinner and more delicate than male genitals, giving the bacteria an easier pathway. Gonorrhea of the throat can be acquired from performing oral sex on an infected partner, usually a male partner. Such infection does not produce symptoms in 90% of cases, and produces a sore throat in the remaining 10%. The World Health Organization warned earlier this year of the spread of untreatable strains of gonorrhea (especially in those engaged in oral sex), following analysis of at least three cases in Japan, France and Spain, which survived all antibiotic treatment.

What may give it away

Not all people infected with gonorrhea have symptoms, however, when symptoms do occur, they are within 2-14 days, but most symptoms occur 4-6 days after exposure, and include the following in men; burning sensation when urinating, white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis, painful or swollen testicles (although this is less common). Most women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms. Even when a woman has symptoms, they are often mild and can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, even if they don’t have any symptoms. Symptoms in women can include: painful or burning sensation when urinating; increased vaginal discharge; vaginal bleeding between periods. Rectal infections may either cause no symptoms or cause symptoms in both men and women that may include: discharge; anal itching; soreness; bleeding; painful bowel movements

The catch

Gonorrhea is diagnosed with gram stain and culture; however, newer polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based testing methods are becoming more common. In those failing initial treatment, culture should be done to determine sensitivity to antibiotics. All people testing positive for gonorrhea should be tested for other sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia, Syphilis, HIV.

Negative outcomes

In women, the most common result of untreated gonorrhea is pelvic inflammatory disease. Men who have had a gonorrhea infection have an increased risk of getting prostate cancer. Infertility, septic arthritis, meningitis, endocarditis and skin infections (infection of the heart valves) could also occur.


Usually with appropriate treatment as prescribed by the medical practitioner. It is recommended that sexual partners be tested and potentially treated. One option for treating sexual partners of people infected is patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT), which involves providing prescriptions or medications to the person to take to his/her partner without the health care provider’s first examining him/her. Currently, it is advised that people who have been diagnosed and treated for gonorrhea avoid sexual contact with others until at least one week after the final day of treatment in order to prevent the spread of the bacterium.


Avoidance of risky behavior is advocated but appropriate protective measures should be taken if there is exposure to such.

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