A woman was diagnosed with gonorrhoea after she noticed blemishes on her hands.
The unnamed patient was treated by doctors after turning up at A&E with blisters on her wrist and fingers.
After experts got to the bottom of the problem, the 20-year-old made a full recovery.
The patient visited the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas after a rash flared up on her hands.
She also reported other uncomfortable symptoms, including muscle ache and fever.
Doctors carried out an examination, finding the blisters were also present on her arms, legs and scalp.
They then ran some tests, before concluding that the patient had been infected by an STI.
The woman, who had had unprotected sex two weeks before, was given antibiotics.
Dr Melissa Mausker, who works at the centre, noted that the patient responded well to the treatment.
In a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, she wrote “Blood cultures grew gram-negative diplococi that were identified as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which confirmed the diagnosis.
“The patient’s symptoms abated with antibiotic treatment.”
The medical notes add that all symptoms had cleared within three months.
Gonorrhoea, which used to be known as “the clap”, is an STI which is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae, or gonococcus.
It can be picked up from having unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex.
Those who have unprotected sex with various different partners are more at risk.
The STI can even spread by sharing vibrators or other sex toys which haven’t been washed.
Contrary to popular belief, it can’t be spread by kissing, hugging, toilet seats, swimming pools or sharing baths.
This is because the bacteria can’t survive outside the body for that long.
Worryingly, gonorrhoea symptoms don’t always manifest.
Around 50% of women and one in ten men won’t notice any side-effects at all.
For this reason, it’s important to get yourself checked for sexually transmitted diseases on a regular basis.
In some instances, patients do notice some warning signs.
The NHS lists these as:
– Unusual discharge
– Discomfort when passing urine
– For women, pain in the lower abdominal area and bleeding between periods could be warning signs
– Meanwhile, men may experience swelling of the foreskin or testicle sensitivity
If you are worried you have contracted gonorrhoea, it’s advisable to visit your local GP or a STI clinic.
Treating gonorrhoea is usually unproblematic.
A single antibiotic injection and antibiotic tablet should deal with the problem.
If successful, this will usually start to clear up within a few days.
You will normally need a follow-up appointment after a week or so to check you are clear of infection.
It is recommended you don’t have sex until after the infection has cleared up.
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