Gonorrhea cases skyrocketing in Washington stateon October 24, 2013 @ 12:00 pm (Updated: 12:32 pm - 10/24/13 )
The DOH reports cases of the second most common sexually transmitted disease have soared 34 percent, with 3,137 cases reported through September 2013, compared to 2,350 during the same time last year.
Rates have been increasing steadily since 2010, says Mark Aubin, STD controller with the DOH.
"We're working closely with local health agencies to actively monitor the rise in cases. We're especially concerned because of gonorrhea's resistance to antibiotics used to treat it," Aubin says.
The jump has occurred among men and women in most age groups, but young adults remain the most affected. While cases are up statewide in both rural and urban counties, Kitsap, Thurston, Spokane, Yakima, and Benton counties are at what the DOH classifies as outbreak levels.
"We're working with health officials in all the counties to get information out to the providers, to interview more cases and to create greater awareness about this," Aubin says.
The disease is spread through unprotected sex.
"It is really important for people to get screened for this STD because in many cases in woman, it's asymptomatic. They don't have any symptoms at all."
Prevention methods include consistent and correct use of condoms, partner treatment, mutual monogamy and abstinence, Aubin says.
As union leadership rejects the final offer from Boeing, Dave Ross wants an explanation
Take a cue from KIRO Radio staff sharing how they get in the holiday spirit
The Holiday Map
Find lights, Santa photos, tree farms & seasonal events with our holiday map
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.