Virginia Department of Health (VDH) defined chancroid, also called soft chancre, as a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by bacteria called Haemophilis ducreyi.
There are about 4,000 cases reported annually in the United States wrote Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). It’s endemic in Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) warned any sexually active person can be infected with this STD. It’s more common in men than in women, particularly uncircumcised males.
According to the National Institutes for Health (NIH), within one day to two weeks after getting chancroid, a small bump appears in the genitals. The bump becomes a sore (ulcer) within a day of appearing.
Typically the ulcer is painful and soft, has sharply defined borders, has a base covered with grey or yellowish-grey material, and/or bleeds easily if banged or scraped. Planned Parenthood added the sores may also produce pus-like fluid. Other symptoms are swollen glands in the groin.
The ulcers can be very painful in men said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). However chancroid is often asymptomatic in women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Prevention Information Network (NPIN) wrote symptoms in women may be limited to painful urination or defecation, painful intercourse, rectal bleeding, or vaginal discharge.
Highly contagious, chancroid is transmitted in two ways, said IDPH. One is sexual transmission through skin-to-skin contact with open sores. Another is non-sexual transmission when pus-like fluid is moved from the ulcer to other body parts or another person.
NYSDOH cautioned the bacteria are more likely to invade the sexual organs at the point of a pre-existing injury, like a small cut or scratch. The likelihood of transmission is greater if a person is very sexually active and doesn’t practice personal hygiene. VDH added individuals remain contagious as long as open sores remain on the body.
Chancroid may be treated with certain antibiotics. NIH said large lymph node swellings may need to be drained, either with a needle or local surgery.