Quantcast
Published On: Wed, Oct 16th, 2013

Gonorrhea outbreak declared in Spokane County

Due to unexpected increases in the sexually transmitted infection, gonorrhea, in Spokane County,  the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has declared a gonorrhea outbreak for the county.

The Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) reports that current data at the end of September 2013 shows a 58 percent increase in gonorrhea cases in Spokane County compared to the same period in 2012.

This Gram-stained photomicrograph reveals the presence of intracellular Gram-negative, Neisseria gonorrhoeae diplococcal bacteria, amongst numerous white blood cells (WBCs). Image/CDC

This Gram-stained photomicrograph reveals the presence of intracellular Gram-negative, Neisseria gonorrhoeae diplococcal bacteria, amongst numerous white blood cells (WBCs). Image/CDC

“In the majority of recent cases, these individuals were treated in an emergency room or urgent care setting, indicating these cases progressed to symptoms, as opposed to being diagnosed through screening,” said Dr. Joel McCullough, SRHD health officer. “In addition to being more vigilant about protected sex, this is an opportunity for our community to step up its screening for gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases.”

The 2012 Spokane County rate for gonorrhea was 38.1 per 100,000, compared to the statewide rate of 48.1. Year-to-date, the state is also experiencing an increase in cases, up 33 percent compared to last year. Both Spokane County and Washington state remain below the national rate for gonorrhea, which in 2011 was 104.2 per 100,000.

Related story: CDC: Sexually transmitted infections increase in 2011

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused the bacterium, Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This bacterium can infect the genital tract, mouth and rectum of both men and women. Ejaculation does not have to occur for the disease to be transmitted. It can also be transmitted from mother to baby during delivery.

Symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear with 2 to 5 days after sexual contact with an infected partner, occasionally symptoms make take longer to appear.

In women, infection may be asymptomatic. If present, the early symptoms of gonorrhea are often mild. The first symptoms in women are frequently; painful or burning sensations when urinating, an increase in discharge (yellow or bloody) and bleeding after intercourse.

Men have symptoms more often than women and they may include; a white, yellow or green discharge from the penis with pain, burning sensations during urination, and painful, swollen testicles.

While infection of the throat and rectum are frequently asymptomatic, rectal infection may have discharge, itching and painful bowel movements.

Related story: Seven out of 10 new gonorrhea infections in U.S. are in people ages 15-24: CDC

The complications of untreated gonorrhea are numerous. The most common being pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a serious infection of the female reproductive tract.

Ectopic pregnancy may occur due to scar tissue that’s formed in the fallopian tubes. This can result in miscarriage or death of the mother.

In men, untreated gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, a painful condition of the testicles that can lead to infertility.

Rarely, untreated gonorrhea can spread through the blood to the joints, causing permanent joint damage (gonococcal arthritis).

Problems for the newborn that gets gonorrhea during delivery are blindness, joint and blood infections.

When a child has the infection in any part of the body, it’s most commonly due to sexual abuse.

Gonorrhea can be diagnosed by several laboratory procedures. These include staining samples directly for the bacteria, detecting bacterial genes or DNA and growing the organism in laboratory culture.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae is treatable with antibiotics; however it has become resistant to many antibiotics over the years. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia often infect people at the same time; therefore doctors usually prescribe treatment for both diseases.

If you have gonorrhea, all of your sexual partners should get tested and treated if infected, whether or not they have symptoms.

What are the best ways to prevent gonorrhea? The surest way to avoid any STI is to abstain from sexual contact or be in a long term mutually monogamous relationship with known uninfected person.

The use of condoms consistently and correctly during sexual activity (vaginal or rectal) can reduce your risk of infection.

“Anyone who is sexually active should discuss his or her risk factors with a health care provider and ask whether he or she should be tested for gonorrhea or other STDs. Most of the time, a simple urine test can be used to test for gonorrhea”, said Dr. McCullough.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Looking for a job in health care? Check here to see what’s available

 

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd ) [ALL INFO CONFIDENTIAL]

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

Tags
Displaying 3 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Gonorrhea cases up 34% in Washington, five counties at outbreak levels - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] and Western Washington, in fact, five counties have reported gonorrhea at outbreak levels–Spokane, Yakima, Thurston, Kitsap and […]

  2. Gonorrhea outbreak declared in Spokane County | Symptom of Pregnancy says:

    […] […]

  3. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    I WONDER ABOUT THE CONNECTION BETWEEN LEGAL MARIJUANA AND PEOPLE “GETTING LOOSE” AT A PARTY. SEATTLE’S ALTERNATIVE NEWSPAPER, Stranger, HAS REPORTED ON THE POPULARITY OF MARIJUANA PARTIES. OFTEN, FEMALES ARE INTRODUCED TO DRUG-USE VIA THEIR MALE PARTNERS.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter



Categories

Archives

At the Movies

Pin It