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Dramatic Increase in Gonorrhea Cases

doctorMEDFORD, Ore. — An emerging trend in STDs in Southern Oregon has state health experts both concerned and baffled. The Oregon Health Authority documented a sudden increase in the number of people testing positive for gonorrhea.

Jackson County experienced a 387 percent jump. Thirty-one cases in 2012 turned into 151 cases last year.

Josephine County increased by 270 percent. Ten cases increased to 37 in 2013.

Douglas County had two cases two years ago and 23 cases last year. That is a 1050 percent.

The Oregon Health Authority isn’t exactly sure why there’s such a massive increase in the sexually transmitted disease, but are working with local health departments to zero in on the reason. There is some thought by health officials that drug use, particularly meth, has led to the increase. People who are “high” often experience fewer inhibitions and an increased sex drive. No matter the cause, experts believe the numbers are a step in the wrong direction.

“Gonorrhea rates had dropped to a historically low levels for the first part of the last decade and a half, but has recently increased to numbers we saw in the 1990s,” said Sean Schafer with the Oregon Health Authority.

The state-wide increase was 18 and a half percent with an additional 300 cases between 2012 and 2013.

For more information on Gonorrhea, and protecting yourself from STD’s, click here.

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