Donovanosis – what is behind the flesh-eating sexually transmitted disease?

A dangerous sexually transmitted disease is circulating in the UK. Donovanosis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that affects men ten times more often than women. Chronic ulcers can develop in the genital area.

Experts warn of the dangerous disease, which is also known as granuloma inguinale. Read here what exactly is behind it.

Donovanosis responsible for inflammation of the genitals

Often referred to as a flesh-eating STD, donovanosis  causes severe inflammation of the genitals and is caused by the bacterium Klebsiella granulomatis. This is how the sexually transmitted disease makes itself felt:

  • itchy papules and pain in the genital and anal areas
  • Inflammation and plate-sized ulcers of the genitals
  • Bleeding of the ulcers and papules
  • purulent swellings

While in men it is mainly the penis that is affected, in women the bacteria particularly attack the inner labia. Donovanosis can eventually   destroy the tissues in the intimate area . The incubation period, i.e. the time from the actual infection to the outbreak, is between one and 16 weeks. The diagnosis is made by a smear or a tissue sample, if these do not achieve a meaningful result, a cell culture should be created.

In addition, it must be ascertained whether it is donovanosis or another sexually transmitted disease such as syphilis.

Early treatment protects against late effects

Usually, Donovanosis can be treated with  antibiotics  . However, if the disease is not detected early,  edema can  narrow the urethra, vagina or anal canal. The result:  unpleasant scarring, which in most cases only surgery can help. The body does not produce antibodies against the bacterium, infection is possible again.

Join us: Prevention is the best medicine

Condoms offer the best protection against donovanosis and other sexually transmitted diseases. This is particularly recommended when traveling to tropical and subtropical countries where the disease is common.

But also in Europe, condoms should be used to protect against infections during sexual intercourse in order to avoid nasty surprises and illnesses. The number of infections with Donovanosis is rising sharply in Great Britain, experts warn of the further spread of the disease.

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