Lane Today (Eugene, OR) (10.29.12)
The latest data on reported cases of STDs and infections show a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of gonorrhea cases and a 14 percent increase in chlamydia cases, compared to the same time period in 2011, according to Lane County Health Human Services (Oregon). Both chlamydia and gonorrhea are major causes of serious reproductive complications in women, and gonorrhea can facilitate HIV transmission.
Lane County Health Officer Dr. Patrick Luedtke declares, “We are very concerned by the numbers we’re seeing here in Lane County, both due to the long-term damage these infections can cause and the fact that they are often symptomless.” Although some men may experience painful urination along with abnormal genital discharge, most women with gonorrhea experience no symptoms or mistake the associated bleeding, painful urination, and vaginal discharge for a vaginal or bladder infection. Dr. Luedtke says that the cornerstones of control efforts are prevention and effective treatment.
The treatment of gonorrhea has been complicated by the ability of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to develop antimicrobial resistance nationally. In Oregon, Luedtke declares, there is no documented resistance, which is good news for infected individuals. People who engage in multiple sexual partners, abuse alcohol or other illegal substances, and engage in unprotected sex are more likely to become infected with gonorrhea. Everyone is urged to practice preventive measures, such as regular testing and condom usage. If individuals suspect that they may have gonorrhea or chlamydia, they should see their physicians immediately.