Michigan health officials investigating rare STDs that require hospitalization

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Health officials are investigation six cases of a rare sexually transmitted disease in Michigan.

Five cases of a rare gonorrhea infection that often requires hospitalization have been confirmed and one case is possible.

Four of the confirmed cases are in Kalamazoo County and one is in St. Joseph County. In Kalamazoo County, gonorrhea has increased by 20 percent over the last year

One possible case is being reviewed in Calhoun County. The infected individuals range in age from 20 to 55.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and local health departments say disseminated gonococcal infection can occur following a sexually transmitted gonorrhea infection.

“We are urging Michigan residents to protect themselves from this rare but serious infection and other sexually transmitted diseases through safe sex practices, including using condoms,” said Sarah Lyon-Callo, MDHHS state epidemiologist. Michigan reported 51,256 cases of chlamydia and 16,992 cases of gonorrhea. Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in Michigan all increased in 2018.

Symptoms include fevers, joint paint and swelling. Patients may or may not have the symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease, so anyone experiencing these symptoms is urged to contact their healthcare provider.

Healthcare providers with patients experiencing these symptoms are asked to immediately report cases to their local health departments.

Abstaining from sex, reducing the number of partners as well as consistent and correct use of condoms are all effective prevention strategies to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

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