The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has issued the 2013 Iowa Surveillance of Notifiable and Other Diseases Report. According to health officials, the annual report provides a yearly snapshot of what, how, and when events impact the public’s health. In 2013, more than 71,000 laboratory results of infectious diseases and conditions were submitted to IDPH disease surveillance programs.

Iowa Image/National Atlas of the United States
Image/National Atlas of the United States

Some of the key findings in the report include several infectious diseases that saw substantial increases in 2013 compared to the 3-year average from 2010-2012.

In 2013, Iowa reported 1,505 cases of Cryptosporidiosis, an increase of 314 percent over the previous 3-year average. Another gastrointestinal disease, shigellosis, saw an over 500% increase in 2013 over the 3-year-average (342 vs 55).

Concerning reportable sexually transmitted infections (STI), Iowa saw a big increase in syphilis cases, while the number of gonorrhea cases dropped by a quarter.

In 2013, Iowa reported 226 syphilis cases, a 146% increase over the 3-year-average of 92. However, the number of gonorrhea cases in Iowa dropped 23% with 1,473 cases reported in 2013, compared to a 3-year-average 1,917. Another STI, chlamydia, remained relatively stable (1.3% increase) in 2013.

The IDPH notes that during the summer of 2013, 136 Iowans from 35 counties were diagnosed with Cyclosporiasis as part of a multi-state outbreak linked to consumption of a bagged salad mix. Cyclospora is a rare parasite that can cause prolonged, watery diarrhea, which, if left untreated, can last weeks to months. Only 10 cases of Cyclospora had been reported in Iowa prior to 2013.

The tick borne infection, Lyme disease, saw a 110% increase in the Hawkeye state in 2013. 247 cases were reported in 2013, compared to a 3-year-average (2010-2012) of 117 cases.

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