Published On: Fri, Oct 19th, 2012

Vanderbilt reports chlamydia outbreak among Greeks

The Zerfoss Student Health Center at Vanderbilt University has reported a spike in the sexually transmitted infection, chlamydia on campus, according to a Inside Vandy report Wednesday.

This McCoy cell monolayer micrograph reveals a number of intracellular C. trachomatis inclusion bodies. Image/CDC

The report notes that since September, there have been 14 confirmed chlamydia cases reported, mostly in students involved in with Greek affiliations.

Dr. Louise Hanson, director of the Student Health Center said, they typically see 0-2 cases of chlamydia each month. Hanson notes that the 14 cases  is a tiny percentage of the student body, but it does represent an increase in what is routinely seen.

The Nashville Metro Public Health Dept. has been notified of the cases, as chlamydia is a reportable disease.

Student Health offers comprehensive STD testing. Appointments can be scheduled by calling             (615) 322-2427      .

Chlamydia trachomatis, specifically types D through K are responsible for sexually acquired genital infections in adults and perinatally transmitted infections in newborns and infants.

Like gonorrhea, chlamydia can be transmitted during oral, vaginal and anal sexual contact with an infected partner.

Sometimes chlamydia is called the “silent disease” because so many people have it and don’t know it. Asymptomatic infection in men is as high as 25%, in women 70%! If symptoms do appear, it’s usually within 1-3 weeks.

When symptoms are present in men it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish from gonorrhea; urethral discharge, itching and burning during urination. In women, symptoms are also similar to gonorrhea with discharge and bleeding being most common.

Men or women who have receptive anal intercourse may acquire chlamydial infection in the rectum, which can cause rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding. Chlamydia can also be found in the throats of women and men having oral sex with an infected partner.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and epidyimitis, in women and men respectively, are the most common complications with untreated chlamydia.

Rarer complications include: Bartholinitis, proctitis and Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome.

In pregnant women, there is some evidence that untreated chlamydial infections can lead to premature delivery. Babies who are born to infected mothers can get chlamydial infections in their eyes and respiratory tracts. Chlamydia is a leading cause of early infant pneumonia and conjunctivitis (pink eye) in newborns.

Chlamydia can be treated with the antibiotics Doxycycline (twice daily for 7 days) or Azithromycin in a single dose. Erythromycin is the drug of choice for infants and Azithromycin for pregnant women.

It is common practice to treat for gonorrhea also when diagnosed with chlamydia. Co-infections are relatively common.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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