The Centers for Disease Control yesterday said gonorrhea cases climbed 37 percent last year, with a high rate of increase observed among teens.
“A total of 3,584 confirmed gonorrhea cases were reported last year, an increase of 37 percent from the previous year,” Chronic Infectious Diseases Division chief Huang Yen-fang (黃彥芳) said.
The number of reported cases among adolescents aged 10 to 19 increased 47 percent last year, with the youngest cases involving 13-year-olds (two male and two female), Huang said, adding that due to a small base of comparison for underaged girls, the increase for the demographic was 107 percent last year.
Although men accounted for 93.5 percent of all reported gonorrhea cases, with male cases increasing by 36 percent last year, cases involving women rose by 41 percent, she added.
Gonorrhea affects the reproductive system, and symptoms in men include a burning or painful sensation during urination, which might develop between two and seven days after infection, the agency said.
Women often do not develop any overt symptoms, so infections can go undetected, it said.
However, without prompt treatment, gonorrhea can lead to infertility in both men and women, it said, adding that people should practice safe sex to prevent contraction of sexually transmitted diseases.
Previous reports showed that men were often the first to seek medical attention, later informing their female partners after their diagnosis with gonorrhea, Huang said.
The agency advised people to be careful who they make friends with on the Internet; refrain from having unsafe sex with people whose sexual history they are unfamiliar with; avoid sex parties and multiple sexual partners; use condoms and water-based lubricants at all times when having sex; and avoid narcotics.
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