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Health officials confirm 5 cases of rare gonorrhea infection in Michigan

MDHHS investigate possible sixth case

Anyone who experiences symptoms of this infection should contact their health provider. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – Health officials are investigating five confirmed cases and a possible sixth case of a rare gonorrhea infection in Michigan.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said there are five confirmed cases of disseminated gonococcal infection in the west side of the state. DGI can occur following a sexually transmitted gonorrhea infection, according to experts.

Four of the confirmed cases are in Kalamazoo County. The fifth confirmed case is in St. Joseph County. Officials are investigating a possible sixth case in Calhoun County.

The affected individuals range in age from 20 to 55 years old.

Symptoms of DGI include fevers, chills and joint pain, stiffness and swelling. It can also cause infections in joints and internal organs, experts said.

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should call their health care provider. Health care providers with patients experiencing these symptoms are asked to immediately report them to their health department.

"We are urging Michigan residents to protect themselves from this rare but serious infection and other sexually transmitted diseases through safe sex practices, including using condoms," MDHHS state epidemiologist Sarah Lyon-Callo said.

Health officials said cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in Michigan all increased in 2018. There were 51,256 cases of chlamydia, 16,992 cases of gonorrhea, and 654 cases of primary and secondary syphilis in the state.

Gonorrhea has increased by 20% in Kalamazoo County over the last year, from 854 cases to 1,027 cases, according to health officials.