Unusual case of a girl who contracted gonorrhea after bathing in a thermal pool in Italy

An 11-year-old girl from Austria became infected with gonorrhea after bathing in a thermal pool while on vacation in Italy. This was detailed in a study that was recently published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports.

After two days of swimming in the volcanic lake Specchio di Venere (Mirror of Venus) on the island of Pantelleria Together with her family, the girl began to feel pain, burning and discomfort.

Given this, the minor was transferred to a health center and treated with an over-the-counter antifungal cream after mistaking her discomfort for a mild infection, while the holidays continued.

Two weeks later, the girl returned to Austria and she continued to present the pain, which led the parents to take her to the doctor.

Given the symptoms, and how the follow-up examinations determined that he had not had sexual intercourse health professionals concluded that the girl was most likely infected during her bath in the thermal pool.

After that, he was given a standard antibiotic for gonorrhea that included an injection and a course of pills. Since then he has fully recovered, reported the RT portal.

Specialists maintain that the moderately warm temperature of the water served as a breeding ground for the infection. They described the favorable conditions for infection in the hot springs of the Mirror of Venus as a slightly acidic pool with elevated heat almost equal to body temperature. That may have helped Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria that cause this sexually transmitted infection, survive.

“The public needs to understand that people who bathe in highly frequented shallow thermal pools are at risk of exposure to pathogens through inoculation from other bathers,” the researchers warned.

“We suggest that a shower and antibacterial soap be available near the hot springs. A sign should make visitors aware of strict hygiene before entering the pools, “they added in the study report.

The website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes gonorrhea as a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can infect both men and women. Also, it can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat.

It is a very common infection in people 15 to 24 years old.