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You might believe that sexually transmitted infections just appeared in humans a bit like the big bang, out of nowhere. However, the real truth of STIs is a lot more mysterious and historical than you might imagine. Gonorrhoea and syphilis have been known in history for many centuries, but is chlamydia a more modern infection?

Chlamydia comes in two different forms, although both are caused by the same bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. One affects the genitals and the other affects the eyes.

The earliest recorded description of chlamydia affecting the eyes dates way back to 1553 BC. Known as trachoma, there is reference to it in a papyrus from Egypt. Therefore, it seems that humans have been battling with the bacterium for a long time indeed, the disease spreading as civilizations expanded and areas became more densely populated.

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What lay behind the infection was only identified in 1907 when a scientist began experimenting by infecting orangutans in Java. It was still misdiagnosed as a virus for many years following this work. It would take another 50 years for the bacterium to be isolated and proper scientific structuring and studying could take place.

During the 1990s, genetic research finally revealed that there were various different species and that the variety known as Chlamydia trachomatis had most likely split from its ancestors a whopping 700 million years ago! This information reveals that the bacterium might have been around and with us since the beginning of mankind.

It is only in recent years that chlamydia has been officially classed as a sexually transmitted infection and is now known to be one of the most common. Across the world, there are an estimated 61 million new infections every year. Thankfully, identifying it early on and treating with antibiotics means most cases are entirely curable. Put your mind at rest and get yourself checked out with an STI test London from checkurself.org.uk/plus/

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The word chlamydia comes from Greek word ‘chlamis’ meaning cloak. Trachomatis is another Greek word meaning rough or coarse. It is an apt description as the infection often hides itself and shows no symptoms in some people. The bacterium also has a bumpy/rough exterior when viewed under a microscope.

If symptoms do appear, they are similar to those experienced with other STIs such as gonorrhoea. Only 20% of women will develop symptoms, which could include abnormal bleeding, a high temperature, changes in discharge and painful urination. Men only experience symptoms around 50% of the time, which could include painful urination, swelling, itchy testicles and discharge.

Chlamydia can spread through the genital tract in women, up into the pelvis, if left untreated. This can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, a serious condition that can result in possible infertility or ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia that affects the eyes without treatment can lead to blindness which is a common problem for those infected in developing countries.


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Hi, I am Russell Chowdhury; I am an entrepreneur, father, mentor and adventurer passionate about life. At this moment, I am working with depression and anxiety; here is my blogs how to recover from anxiety and how to fight with anxiety. I hope everyone will like my blogs.