Report reveals NZ children diagnosed with chlamydia

By Solbin Kang

A report has revealed the number of New Zealanders who contracted chlamydia last year. Photo / iStock
A report has revealed the number of New Zealanders who contracted chlamydia last year. Photo / iStock

An annual report reveals more than 28,000 Kiwis contracted the most common sexually transmitted disease, chlamydia, last year.

Eighty-three children under the age of one were also reported to have contracted the disease, according to the Institute of Environmental Science and Research.

The research revealed infants born to infected mothers could contract the disease during delivery.

The report also revealed 83 per cent of chlamydia cases were most commonly diagnosed in females between the ages of 15 to 24 years.

Maori females aged between 15 to 19 years old were reported to have the highest estimated rate of the disease -- more than twice the national estimate.

Gonorrhoea was found in 70 out of every 100,000 Kiwis.

Maori females aged 15 to 19 years were reported to have the highest estimated rate -- with 396 reported cases per 100,000 people.

That was more than threes times the national rate.

Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond said it was incredibly concerning STI rates remained high in some communities.

"Everyone working in sexual health knows that we have much more work to do in both testing and treatment," Ms Edmond said.

"For example, we are planning to trial drop-in and opportunistic STI testing -- where people can drop in to a clinic, complete a registration form and quick questionnaire and leave a urine sample for testing," she said.

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research's (ESR) sexually transmitted infections surveillance report is released annually.

It releases data provided by New Zealand sexual health clinics.

Risks of untreated STIs

Chlamydia

• Chlamydia can be contracted through unprotected sexual contact.

• Pregnant women can spread the bacteria to a baby during birth.

• For women, the infection can spread from the cervix to the womb and fallopian tubes and could cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). If the fallopian tubes were blocked, women may be unable to get pregnant.

• For men, the infection can cause painful swelling in the penis.

• Babies can be infected from their mother during birth. This may cause eye infections and pneumonia.

• Can be treated with antibiotics.

Gonorrhoea

• Can be contracted through unprotected sexual contact.

• Can cause infertility in both men and women

• Babies can be infected from their mother during birth.

• Can be treated with antibiotics

Source: Family Planning

- NZ Herald

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