Redding Record Searchlight (08.24.12)
Shasta County public health officials are urging residents to get tested for gonorrhea, since cases of the STD have nearly quadrupled this year compared to the same months from 2007 to 2011. From January to July, 81 cases were reported compared to an average of 21 cases, according to Dave Maron, program manager for the Communicable Disease and Emergency Preparedness Division of the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency. Shasta County had 45 cases in 2011.
Most of the cases involved people who did not use protection or engaged in other high-risk sexual behavior, such as having multiple partners, Maron said. Chlamydia also is increasing in the county, with 350 cases in the seven-month period this year compared to an average of 261 cases in the past five years.
The county’s closure of one of its STD clinics last fall is unlikely to have caused the increase, Maron said, because the clinic saw so few patients.
“Overall, we have a fairly small community, so when we get an STD moving through a small group, it can grow very rapidly,” Maron said.
To encourage testing, Shasta County has a new link on its website that allows people exposed to STDs to anonymously notify past sex partners of their need to get tested. “This will help a lot of people that just cannot have face-to-face conversations on this,” Maron said.
For more information, visit: http://www.co.shasta.ca.us/index/hhsa_index/Health_and_Safety/Sexually_Transmitted_Diseases.aspx.