Salt Lake Tribune (11.13.2013)
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a 94-percent statewide increase in gonorrhea cases in the past year prompted Utah public health officials to recommend that all sexually active adults get screened for the STD, especially persons with new or numerous partners. "[Gonorrhea has] been on the increase for the last two to three years. But this past year was significant," said Lynn Meinor, manager of communicable disease prevention for the state’s Department of Health. The department recorded 633 cases of gonorrhea from January to September of this year, compared with 327 cases for the same time period in 2012 and 480 for the entire year.
Women compose approximately 40 percent of this year’s reported cases, replacing homosexual men and other high-risk males who have held case majority throughout the last five years, according to Meinor. Health department data show that women accounted for only 27 percent of cases in 2012. "We’re trying to get the word out to family practice doctors and [obstetricians/gynecologists] that they should be screening regularly and taking thorough sexual health histories," said Meinor.
Non-Hispanic whites accounted for two-thirds of the reported gonorrhea cases. Salt Lake County, being more densely populated, reported the majority of cases (72 percent), according to Lynn Beltran, epidemiology supervisor for the Salt Lake County Health Department. "Everyone is at risk," said Beltran, who also stressed that approximately half of those who are infected experience no symptoms.