After reporting (see May 31 edition) the reappearance of LGV (lymphogranuloma venereum), a rare sexually transmitted disease (STD) in a number of major cities in the United States, we have now learned that Canadian public health agency has confirmed 22 cases of the disease in that country. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring cases of the disease across the United States, Canadian health officials are concerned that LGV may become a significant public health problem.
LGV rarely appeared in industrialized nations and was usually confined to parts of Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean. Since 2003, however, the disease has appeared in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, Britain, the United States, and now Canada. The disease is often associated with concurrent HIV or hepatitis C infections and high-risk sexual practices. LGV is found predominantly in men and that is the case in Canada where all 22 cases involve men. Left untreated, LGV can result in disfigured genitalia, permanent damage to the bowels, and is potentially fatal. Symptoms include rectal bleeding, abdominal pain within days after exposure. LGV is treatable with antibiotics.