Gonorrhea, which now is a much more common disease (250 million cases a year worldwide, 400,000 in the United States) than syphilis, is a bacterial disease caused by the gram-negative diplococci (spherical cells in pairs), Neisseria gonorrhea. It mainly affects the urethra, and in women also the reproductive organs [pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)], leading potentially to sterility. It is most often spread through contact with the mucous membranes of an infected person during sexual activity, although a newborn may also acquire it (usually, as an eye infection) from an infected mother during birth.

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