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Nov 26, 1997

Mr Sowadsky:

Is Riter´s disease a sexual trasmitted disease?

How do you get Riter´s disease and what are symptoms?

Thank you!!

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. What you are probably referring to is Reiter's Syndrome. This is a rare complication of several bacterial infections, including forms of Chlamydia, Shigella, Salmonella, Yersinia, and Campylobacter. Genital mycoplasmas and Gonorrhea are possibly linked to Reiter's Syndrome as well. Of these, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and mycoplasmas can be transmitted through sexual contact. Shigella, Salmonella, Yersinia, and Campylobacter can be transmitted through food.

The symptoms of this rare complication can vary from one person to another. Generally speaking, symptoms can include arthritis (inflammation of the joints), inflammation of the urethra/cervix (urogenital inflammation), Conjunctivitis (inflammation in the eyes), problems with the skin, flu-like symptoms, changes in a persons EKG, and rarely problems with the heart and other symptoms. Let me stress that every one of these symptoms resemble those of many other illnesses. Only a doctor can diagnose Reiter's Syndrome! Generally speaking, these symptoms resolve completely within 2 to 6 months, but may take longer in some people. Recurrences of these symptoms can occur in some people as well.

In summary, Reiter's syndrome itself is not an STD, but can be a rare complication of the STDs listed above. If you are having any of these symptoms, please see your doctor. Remember, only a doctor can make a diagnosis of Reiter's Syndrome!

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

What's Chlamydia?
HIV and hepatitis, danger of transmission

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