By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

California state health officials are reporting an increase in disseminated gonococcal infections (DGI), which is an uncommon, but significant complication of untreated gonorrhea.


Disseminated Gonorrhea Infections occur when the sexually transmitted pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae spreads beyond the site of infection and invades the bloodstream traveling to distant sites in the body. This can lead to  joint pain and swelling from infected joints; small, painless red based skin lesions that have clear fluid or pus in them; infection in the blood; or, on rare occasions, infections of the heart valves or fluid around the brain. Most of the cases in California have presented with joint pain and infected joints. Anyone showing symptoms should immediately reach out to their health care provider.

“As an infectious disease and public health physician, I am very concerned that we are seeing completely preventable complications of sexually transmitted disease (STD) infections that went undiagnosed and untreated, likely due to people not seeking care or getting routine testing during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Erica Pan, Acting State Public Health Officer. “STD risk has not gone away. There are a few groups we especially want to remind to seek STD screening. If you are a sexually active female 25 years of age or younger, if you are pregnant, if you are a man who has sex with men, or if you are living with HIV, please contact your healthcare provider to get recommended testing for STDs.”