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'Symptomless" STD Is Sneaking Through UK

Update Date: Nov 13, 2015 11:23 AM EST

Mycoplasma genitalium (MG), which had been hit upon for the first time more than three decades ago, can be transferred through sexual contact, but does not show up through symptoms, says a new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

This infection is afflicting about 1 percent of the British between 16 and 44 years, according to Daily Mail.

Even though scientists are not aware of the long-term effects of MG, research shows that it leads to pelvic inflammatory disease, inflammation of the urethra and/or cervix and might even make women infertile.

As the symptoms are not visible, researchers are concerned that MG might be getting transferred without the sexual partners even being aware of it, according to The Guardian.

"This study provides insights for the testing and control of MG infection, which need to be considered as part of the emerging evidence base," the researchers wrote. "Other study designs are better placed to look at natural history of infection with M. genitalium and its sequelae."

Studies on a limited number of people showed that about 94 percent of males and 65 percent of females denied that they showed any symptoms. Moreover, people exhibiting less than four sexual partners in one year seemed to be at a lower risk than others who had more than four.

"These findings suggest that only testing those who are currently symptomatic would miss the majority of infections," said Pam Sonnenberg, lead author of the paper. "However, further research is needed to understand the clinical implications of infection and possible longer term complications."

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