Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococci).
Gonorrhoea is manifested by inflammation of the genital organs, including a discharge typical of the disease. However, the bacteria can also spread to other organs. Neisseria are transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person, or during birth from mother to child.
For a long time, the number of cases of gonorrhoea declined, but since the mid-1990s there has been an increase in the number of cases in Germany. Young adults are the main risk group. Women and men are affected to the same extent. The average age of onset is about 30 years. Until the year 2000, gonorrhea was considered a notifiable disease, but since the majority of cases were not reported, the reporting requirement was relinquished.
Congenital gonorrhea used to be considered the most common cause of blindness in children in the Western world. To counteract this blindness, silver nitrate was dripped into the eyes of newborns.