Can You Die If You Have Gonorrhea?
Yes, there are medical records proving gonorrhea leading to death of the patient. Although the fatality rate is quite low, but it is possible in complicated cases such as advanced stage of DGI which stands for Disseminated Gonococcal Infection and also in immuno-compromised patients of AIDS.
For understanding this lethal complication, it is necessary to understand what gonorrhea is and how it affects the human body.
Gonorrhea- Why It Is So Talked About?
Gonorrhea is one of the most common infections and is classified under sexually transmitted disease. Disease develops from the infection caused by a bacterium known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It spreads by infecting mucous membrane of sex organs and reproductive tract. In women, cervix, fallopian tubes & uterus are affected while urethra is infected in cases of men. However, infections of urethra in females have also been reported. It became more shocking when studies revealed that Gonorrhoeae bacterium can also invade the mucous membrane of eyes, throat, mouth and rectum to cause infection.
Prevalence of the disease is so high that more than 820 thousand newer cases of infection by gonococcus occur each year in United States alone. According to CDC, only 50 percent of the cases were diagnosed thus, reported to the center. They made estimation that more than 570 thousand cases of them were quite younger population between the ages of 15 to 24 years.
Risk Personnel of Gonorrhea
Gonococcus is commonly transferred through sexual contact from an infected person to the healthy one during the act. This is to be noted that ejaculation is not necessary to get infected. Highest rate of infection is among the age groups same as that of the infection. This includes sexually active young adults, teenagers and African Americans. It is not a surprise infection is recurrent and symptoms may appear again in patients previously diagnosed with gonorrhea and also taken treatment for it.
Complications of Gonorrhea
Untreated or mistreated gonorrhea can result in severe and permanent health impairment in both the sexes. Most common complication in women occurs when bacteria localized to cervical mucosal lining migrate to fallopian tube or uterus and give rise to a worse medical condition called as pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. The symptoms may vary from so mild that they go unnoticed to serious enough that they include high grade fever and abdominal pain. The condition may get worsened when it leads to internal abscess along with long standing pelvic pain. Damage by pelvic inflammatory disease to the fallopian tissue is sufficient enough to increase the chances of ectopic pregnancy by multiple folds and no surprisingly, it can also lead to infertility.
In males, gonococcal clusters which usually remains localized to initial site if infection starts ascending to prostate gland and epididymis leading to the development of other complications known as prostatitis and epididymo-orchitis respectively. It is a rare but cases with infertility caused by gonococcal infections have been registered.
Disseminated Gonococcal Infection
Most severe form of the disease arises when the infection is left untreated and gonococci disseminate into the blood leading to bacteremia. This condition is called disseminated gonococcal infection or DGI. It is characterized by inflammation of joints (arthritis), inflammation of synovial fluid and membrane (teno-synovitis) and inflammation of the exposed skin (dermatitis). The condition is so severe and exaggerated that it has been proved fatal in a significant number of untreated cases of gonorrhea.
HIV and Gonorrhea
Studies have shown that patients with untreated gonorrhea and recurrent gonorrhea were found more susceptible acquiring Human Immunodeficiency Virus and also transferring it.
As the resistance against beta-lactam antibiotics have started to appear, any one of the under given regime can be followed.
- Cefixime 400 mg orally (single-dose).
- Ceftriaxone 250 mg intramuscularly (single-dose).
- Spectinomycin 2 g intramuscularly (single-dose).
Generally, gonorrhea is a non-fatal disease but one might has to pay the price of ignorance and improper treatment by their life.