Catching Chlamydia, The Hard Way

Chlamydia is the number one cause of blindness in the world. In the US we treat babies at birth and are sheltered from this dreaded fact. But we now both know about disease transmission and have effective ways of treating these diseases. But late in the 1800s it was very different. At Staten Island during the large waves of European immigrants, the medical examiners actually used buttonhooks to check for tracoma. The didn't know it then, but this eye infection, also the number one cause of blindness around the world, is caused by the same Chlamydia organism that is transmitted sexually.Even those without obvious eye disease were asymptomatic carriers...a fact that we stress in sexual transmission since about 75% of women infected with Chlamydia have no symptoms and are just carriers...so too these carriers were a reason chlamydia was transmitted quickly through our population. To date we still see over one million chlamydia infections per year and it's important to check with your gyno for screening if you need it.

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