Associated Press (02.06.02) - Monday, February 11, 2002
Public health officials in Idaho have issued an alert due to
the unusually high number of people contracting gonorrhea and
chlamydia in the North Central Health District (NCHD), which
takes in Nez Perce, Clearwater, Lewis, Idaho and Latah
counties as well as Asotin County in Washington. Last month,
five people tested positive for gonorrhea, more than twice the
number for all of 2001. Three cases were reported in Latah,
and one case each was reported from Nez Perce and Idaho
"We haven't had much gonorrhea in the area for a number of
years, and people think it's gone," said Donna Anderson, an
epidemiologist with the NCHD. "The cases we were seeing in
January have been in the 18- to 30-year-old age group,"
Anderson said. "We are not really talking about young teens.
We wanted to get the message out to beware."
Chlamydia is a larger problem, with 22 people in the district
testing positive in January. Half of the reports were from
Asotin County. Six chlamydia infections were reported from Nez
Perce, with two more in Latah County and one case each
reported from Clearwater, Lewis and Idaho counties. Those who
are infected may not show any symptoms and therefore are not
aware that they are infected, said Anderson.
"Both can be easily treated with antibiotics," Anderson said.
"But the bad news is that people that are catching gonorrhea
and chlamydia are the same people that are at high risk for
other sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and herpes."
Anderson suggested limiting the number of sexual partners,
abstinence, the proper use of condoms, and monogamy.