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Gonorrhea is caused by a germ known as the "gonococcus." The finding of the germ in the secretions that come from the infected tissues is a means by which the presence of the disease is determined with certainty. The bacteriologists have established rather simple techniques for detecting the presence of the gonococcus. When this germ invades the sex organs a purulent exudate appears, and the presence of the infection is accompanied by burning and frequency of urination, which begins two to fourteen days after the exposure. When the condition infects women the symptoms are not easily detectable; the infection may proceed for a long time before the woman seeks medical attention. With men treatment is begun just as soon as the obvious symptoms appear and is not delayed while the necessary laboratory studies to confirm the diagnosis are being made. When the germs have invaded other tissues of the body, such as the eyes or the joints, the treatment is best conducted in a hospital, where the patient is under complete control.

The treatment which has brought about such magnificent results is the use of penicillin. In the Army an injection of 150,000 units of procaine penicillin G in oil with 2 per cent aluminum monostearate is given at once. Women receive 300,000 units as a first dose. When the organisms are found to be resistant to penicillin, some of the other antibiotics, such as aureomycin, chloromycetin and terramycin, may be used. If the infected person has not shown positive signs of recovery by the third or fourth day a further treatment is undertaken.

The success of the treatment is so definite that complete disappearance of signs and symptoms is taken as evidence of cure. Extraordinary procedures such as massaging the prostate gland or stripping the vesicles in order to bring out the germs are not considered necessary.

Because gonorrhea sometimes masks a simultaneous infection with syphilis, every patient should be instructed to have a blood test for syphilis four months after the treatment for gonorrhea, and is watched for any of the usual signs of syphilis.


Men's Health


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