Washington, DC - Public health experts and beltway spin doctors are trying to understand and explain why the gonorrhea rate among the nation's legislators, their staff and aides is over twelve-times the rate for the general population.
The results were discovered as part of a recently announced Bush administration campaign to test all American's over the age of fourteen for illegal drugs. Testing for STDs was originally to be done only for demographic purposes but suspicious disease clusters lead to further investigation.
According to a recent study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 392,848 cases of gonorrhea in the United States were reported in the U.S. but some estimates put the actual number of annual infections at 800,000.
Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona expressed grave concern over what he termed "endemic levels" of gonorrhea among Senators and Representatives. "Given the limited geographical scope and strain-specificity of the cluster associated with our findings on Capitol Hill," said the Surgeon General, "it would appear that a single source was responsible for the initial infection." He then surmised that members of Congress had then spread the infection throughout the institution through unprotected intimate contact.
Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that grows and multiplies quickly in moist, warm areas of the body including the reproductive tract, the oral cavity, and the rectum. The disease is most commonly spread during intense, orifice-independent intimacy sessions.
"The implication that these, these, these practices are occurring between members of Congress is unfathomable," said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), himself a physician. "There are any number of explanations," he continued, "I suggest that a thorough investigation of the door knobs and toilet seats be conducted immediately."
Most public heath experts express surprise at Senator Frist's statement. According to Gail Bolan, the Chair of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), "misinformation is the biggest threat to the public health when it comes to STDs. The fact that Senator Frist is a physician makes his statements only that much more troubling."
The Majority Leader did receive support from the White House. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan provided the following statement: "The President is monitoring the situation at the Capitol very closely. He has been briefed by Senator Frist and the Republican Leadership and fully accepts Dr. Frist's call for an investigation of hygiene on Capitol Hill. Mr. Bush faced a similar situation himself while a member of the Philips Andover varsity baseball team. The outbreak, which infected 9 members of the team, was ultimately traced to a dirty toilet seat."