Essay by stewie23High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2004

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A human infected with Chlamydia can see these long strips of bacteria in his/her urine.

Chlamydia infection is a curable sexually transmitted disease (STD), which is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. You can get genital Chlamydia infection during oral, vaginal, or anal sexual contact with an infected partner. It can cause serious problems in men and women as well as in newborn babies of infected mothers.

Chlamydia infection is one of the most widespread bacterial STDs in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 4 million people are infected each year.

Because Chlamydia infection does not make most people sick, you can have it and not know it. Those who do have symptoms may have an abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis or pain while urinating. These early symptoms may be very mild. Symptoms usually appear within one to three weeks after being infected.

Because the symptoms may be mild or not exist at all, you might not seek care and get treated.

The infection may move inside the body if it is not treated. There, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women and epidydimitis in men, two very serious illnesses. Chlamydia can cause inflamed rectum and inflammation of the lining of the eye ("pink eye"). The bacteria also can infect the throat from oral sexual contact with an infected partner.

Chlamydia infection is easily confused with gonorrhea because the symptoms of both diseases are similar and the diseases can occur together, though rarely.

The most reliable ways to find out whether the infection is Chlamydia are through laboratory tests. Usually, a doctor or other health care worker will send a sample of pus from the vagina or penis to a laboratory that will look for...