Epidemiology

Chlamydial genital infections lead all reportable bacterial infectious diseases. In contrast to gonorrhea, the number of reported chlamy-

dial infections has tended to rise each year, probably a reflection of increased awareness of the disease and better diagnostic tests. Still only a fraction of the total cases, estimated at 4 million per year in the United States, is reported by physicians to public health departments. More than 14% of sexually active high school and college women were asymptomatic carriers of C. trachomatis in one study. Non-sexual transmission of this agent also occurs, for example, in non-chlorinated swimming pools. Newborn babies of infected mothers often develop chlamydial ophthalmia neonatorum, also called inclusion conjunctivitis, and pneumonia from C. trachomatis infection contracted during passage through the birth canal.

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