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STD outbreak concealed for science

Published on March 18, 2005

18 March 2005

AMSTERDAM — Medical specialists with the Erasmus Medical Centre (EMC) in Rotterdam kept secret the outbreak of the sexually transmitted disease LGV because they wanted to write first about it in an academic journal.

The revelations appeared in a Friday-published investigation conducted by the Healthcare Inspectorate. An official complaint against the dermatologists involved has been lodged with the medical disciplinary council.

The first LGV-infected patient reported to the outpatient clinic for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at the EMC in January 2003. By summer of that year, there were 14 known patients.

If a doctor diagnoses the disease, he or she is obliged to report the case to the medical authority GGD.  But the Rotterdam STD clinic failed to do so and the inspectorate claims the dermatologists agreed to keep the infection secret based on fears that someone else would research the phenomenon first.

The Rotterdam GGD came across the outbreak in an article in ‘The Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases’ at the end of 2003, newspaper NRC reported. But EMC denies it kept the infection secret and said the disease is not included on a list of infectious diseases.

There are reports of an LGV epidemic among gay men in Western Europe and the US. Some 101 men have the disease in the Netherlands. They have a serious anal infection.

Lymphogranuloma venereum is a tropical infectious disease that has not appeared in the Netherlands in 10 years.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news