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December 7, 1979

Chlamydia trachomatis diseases are on the rise

JAMA. 1979;242(23):2520. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300230006004

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Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) now is being diagnosed in at least 2.5 million Americans per year, says the American Social Health Association. Some authorities suggest that NGU already is more common than gonorrhea in this country.

In men with NGU, Chlamydia trachomatis is being recovered from the urethras of two or three of every five. It also is being found in the cervices of about two thirds of their female sexual partners. Among other complications, there is the possibility that inclusion conjunctivitis may develop in the infants of these women from exposure to the C trachomatis organism in the birth canal.

In fact, additional problems may develop in exposed infants. University of California, San Francisco, investigator Chandler R. Dawson, MD, told a Research to Prevent Blindness seminar in Los Angeles this fall that "this chlamydial infection is the most common cause of pneumonia in newborns [two to six cases per 1,000