Gonorrheais caused by the bacteria N.gonorrhea. Approximately 600,000 new cases of this disease are now reported annually with the highest rates among teens [CDC, STD Surveillance,1997].
Gonorrhea can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which renders the female sterile; gonorrhea can also cause sterility in the male. The presence of gonorrhea increases the chances of acquiring the HIV virus, if present.
At least 50 percent of female gonorrhea infections have no symptoms [CDC, 1998].
[Excerpts from CDC, MMWR, June 16, 2006 / 53(53);1-79 Summary of Notifiable Diseases — United States, 2004]
Increases in Gonorrhea
Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection is the second most commonly reported notifiable disease in the United States (1).
Gonorrhea increases the risk for pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and acquisition and transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (2).
Nationally, reported gonorrhea incidence rates have been either declining or stable since 1996, although, in 2005, the national rate (115.6 cases per 100,000 population) increased for the first time since 1999 (3).
In recent decades, western states have had lower gonorrhea rates than other U.S. regions; however, from 2000 to 2005, rates in the West* increased 42%, from 57.2 cases to 81.5 cases per 100,000 population (Figure). During that period, rates in the three other U.S. regions decreased (South: -22%, Northeast: -16%, and Midwest: -5%)…
[March 16, 2007 / 56(10);222-225, CDC, MMWR Weekly, http://www.cdc.gov:80/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5610a4.htm?s_cid=mm5610a4_e]
In 2004, the gonorrhea rate (113.5 cases per 100,000 population) was the lowest ever reported in the United States (1). Although the gonorrhea rate among women (116.5) remained slightly higher than that among men (110.0) for the third straight year, rates for both men and women have been decreasing since 2000. Decreases have been recorded predominantly among black men and women; rates among non-Hispanic white men and women and among all Hispanics have increased slightly since 2000. However, the rate per 100,000 population for blacks remains 19 times higher than that for whites, with the highest rate being among persons aged 15–24 years (2,079.8) and persons aged 20–24 years (2,487.2).
CDC. Sexually transmitted disease surveillance, 2004. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In press.
[CDC, MMWR, 16June06/ 53(53);1-79 Summary of Notifiable Diseases — United States, 2004]