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Gonorrhea preventive medication for eyes

Gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum (GON) is a severe infection of the eye that can occur in babies born to women with gonorrhea when gonococcal infection is transmitted to newborns during delivery by women infected with N gonorrhoeae.

Who is at risk

Babies whose mothers have gonorrhea.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually include red eyes, thick pus in the eyes, and swelling of the eyelids. This type of conjunctivitis usually begins about 2 to 4 days after birth.

What you can do

Get tested for sexually transmitted infections during prenatal visits. Get treatment if tested positive.

Preventive service at no cost

Newborns

The USPSTF recommends prophylactic ocular topical medication for all newborns to prevent gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum.


Why the service is important

It may be unknown. You may not have any symptoms. You may not have had a screening during pregnancy if you did not have prenatal care.

If left untreated, the condition can cause serious eye problems, including corneal scarring, ocular perforation and blindness, as early as 24 hours after birth.

What the service is

Your baby will have drops put in his or her eyes shortly after birth.

Treatment

Treatment includes a topical antibiotic for a short time.