Chlamydia is often considered a sexually transmitted disease, and affects the reproductive organs, causing discharge and pain during urination or sex. Therefore, many subjective people believe that only sex is able to make the disease spread. And even though health facilities and information channels still recommend that the disease can spread many other ways, including from mother to child, many people still ignore it.
But recently, a photo published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has been a powerful wake-up call for many people who are indifferent to this dangerous disease. It is a photo of a baby whose eyes have Chlamydia infection looks so pitiful.
The photo with the question “What happened?” was taken when a couple took a 2-week-old girl (their daughter) to an ophthalmology clinic in Malaysia. Parents of babies find pus-like fluids – a symptom of conjunctivitis – in the eyes of girls. This symptom lasted 3 days without help, so both of them took me to the doctor. The doctor took a sample of the secretion and the result was positive for chlamydia.
Turns out, the baby’s mother also tested positive for chlamydia in her cervix. Doctors concluded that the baby’s eyes were infected during childbirth, leading to a condition known as ophthalmia neonatorum (neonatal conjunctivitis).
Ophthalmia neonatorum is a type of conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye. Symptoms of the disease are protective membranes of the outer layer of the eye that are infected or inflamed but especially due to chlamydia or gonorrhea. In the report, the doctor noted, ophthalmia neonatorum is a disease that can be resolved by periodic antenatal screening when pregnant women.
Signs of chlamydia:
Abnormal vaginal discharge
Feeling burning or painful when urinating, having sex
Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
Abdominal pain, pain may accompany pain around the uterus or liver
Pain in the lower back or pelvis
Symptoms of chlamydia in men are often discreet and more difficult to detect.
Women infected with chlamydia are more likely to be infected with HIV than women without chlamydia. It can also increase the risk of other sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis … or cause uterine, fallopian, and pelvic infections, which affect fertility, even cause infertility.
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