Canada: Rare Chlamydia Infection Found: Unusual Strain Can Cause Scars, Swelling or Death
March 17, 2006
On Tuesday, Alberta Health officials reported three probable cases of the rare STD lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) in Calgary. The patients are currently undergoing tests to confirm the diagnosis. Positive test results would bring the total number of local LGV cases to four since 2005.
Experts say the small number of cases cannot be considered an outbreak. Nevertheless, considering the rising incidence of gonorrhea and syphilis in the province, health officials are alarmed by the reported LGV cases. "All of these when put together are very alarming trends," said Dr. Ameeta Singh of Alberta Health.
LGV, an unusual and invasive form of chlamydia, typically appears as a small lump on the genitals and often goes unnoticed. It can cause scarring and swelling in the genital area and the rectum. In a small number of cases, it can trigger a fatal infection of the lining of the brain. As of November, around 38 cases have been reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Men who have sex with men comprise most of the LGV cases, though women are at risk because the infection can be transmitted though unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex.
Singh recommended sexually active Calgarians use condoms and limit their number of sex partners in order to prevent LGV.
03.15.2006; Michelle Lang
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.