Bonner County Daily Bee (09.09.07) - Thursday, September 13,
Recent figures from five northern Idaho counties show
gonorrhea cases are up 300 percent this year. Most of those
affected are people in the 18-24 age group, though "we've had
a case as young as 16," said Donna Marshall-Holden, a nurse
with the Panhandle Health District (PHD).
Nine cases of the STD were reported in the region last year.
Twenty-nine cases have been reported so far in 2007 with three
months left to go. In Spokane County, gonorrhea has increased
64 percent, according to the Spokane Regional Health District.
"[Rates] are up in the state as well as the surrounding
states," said Marshall-Holden.
PHD has notified area physicians of the rise and is conducting
educational programs in area schools. "What we're doing on
campus is simply putting in our bathrooms information
Panhandle Health provided to us," said Eric Murray, vice
president of student services at North Idaho College.
Marshall-Holden urged people who are sexually active to use
condoms to prevent gonorrhea's spread. "What we ask is that
people protect themselves and be responsible," she said.