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Disseminated Gonococcal Infection (DGI)

Disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI) is a complication that can happen when gonorrhea is not treated. It is sometimes called the "arthritis-dermatitis syndrome", because when the bacteria spread to other parts of the body it can cause joint pain and/or skin lesions.


DGI occurs in up to 3 percent of people who have untreated gonorrhea. It affects people with vaginas/internal genitals four times more often than people with penises/external genitals.


  • Early symptoms are often flu-like with fever, fatigue, aches
  • Joint pain, most commonly the knees, ankles and wrists
  • Skin lesions or rash


You need to see a health care provider for an exam and testing.


DGI is usually treated with antibiotics. A specialist is required for follow-up.


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gonorrhea, STI, STD
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