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Published On: Sun, Oct 27th, 2013

Gonorrhea cases up 34% in Washington, five counties at outbreak levels

The State of Washington Department of Health is reporting a significant rise in the number of gonorrhea cases in 2013 as compared to last year, urging health officials to advise  anyone who is experiencing symptoms, or has a partner that has been diagnosed, to be tested.

Public domain image/USGS

Public domain image/USGS

According to health department numbers, there have been 3,137 cases through September 2013 compared to 2,350 during the same time in 2012, for a 34 percent increase.

Although Washington’s rate for gonorrhea are still well below the national average, rates have been going up steadily since 2010.

Health officials report much of the increase has been seen in rural and urban counties across Eastern and Western Washington, in fact, five counties have reported gonorrhea at outbreak levels–Spokane, Yakima, Thurston, Kitsap and Benton.

“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,” said Mark Aubin, sexually transmitted disease controller for the Department of Health. “It’s important for us to assure every reported case is interviewed so the partners of infected people are identified and receive treatment.”

Gonorrhea is a very common infectious disease. CDC estimates that, annually, 820,000 people in the United States get new gonorrhea infections and less than half of these infections are detected and reported to CDC. CDC estimates that 570,000 of them were among young people 15-24 years of age. In 2011, 321,849 cases of gonorrhea were reported to CDC.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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