It is generally accepted, though specific data in medical literature are lacking, that gonococcic infections may remain dormant for years, and then, without history of reinfection, all the signs and symptoms of an acute gonorrhea may appear. Fraser and Dye1 recently called attention to this in a report on a patient who had had a gonorrheal urethritis at the age of 20. Fifty years later, following a prostatectomy, there was an acute exacerbation of the gonorrheal urethritis.
It appears to be little known that latent gonoccocic infections may have excerbations with or without evidence of local genital lesions. Gonococcic arthritis is one of the most common of these infections. During the past three years we have studied seventy individuals with acute gonococcic arthritis. Of considerable interest were the observations on thirteen of these patients, who had a sudden onset of acute, polyarticular arthritis without symptomatic evidence of localized gonococcic
SPINK WW, KEEFER CS. LATENT GONORRHEA AS A CAUSE OF ACUTE POLYARTICULAR ARTHRITIS. JAMA. 1937;109(5):325-328. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780310003002