Public health officials throughout the country are alerting physicians about a not-so-common STD making its way across the country again.
The sexually-transmitted disease, lymphogranuloma venereum or LGV, has not been seen so much since the 1920s. It’s a type of the more common Chlamydia that can lead to genitalia and colon scarring. If untreated, it can cause swelling of the groin’s lymph glands, which could burst.
There have been seral reported cases in San Francisco, which prompted worries that it could spread.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center School of Medicine Chairman of Preventive Medicine Dr. William Schaffner said doctor must be mindful of the symptoms LGV shows to provide infected persons immediate treatment to stop the bacteria from doing further damage.
He said it was commonly seen in the 1920 and 1930s, but through diagnosis and treatment, it was about eliminated from the states. Due to the ability to travel to and from various places, people are catching the disease and bringing it back.
Schaffner’s warning and the CDC’s alert was issued back in October 2017, with a warning to doctors that the bacteria could make its way to the states. The San Francisco cases is a testament to that warning.
Although the disease affects both men and women, people who are more likely to catch is are ones who have anal sex. There are no outward signs of the disease, which is why doctors must be vigil about the disease’s reemergence.
Schaffner said most doctors today have not seen an LGV case before, and being that it’s such an odd STD, they could mistake it for Chron’s disease. Most symptoms begin three weeks after exposure, usually with ulcers in the genital region. A month after the exposure, they may experience swelling and pain in their lymph nodes around the groin area. They may have a fever and not feel good overall.
Other signs of the LGV STD includes mucus or blood in the stool, anal itching, cramps while having a bowel movement, colon and rectum inflammation and gastrointestinal bleeding. LGV-infected individuals will need to take three weeks’ worth of antibiotics rather than the standard one dose that is given to people with chlamydia
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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