By NewsDesk @bactiman63
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) STD Epidemiology program is reporting a significant increase in the number of reported gonorrhea infections across the state, based on analyses.
In 2019, Michigan reported 18,264 gonorrhea infections. This annual number has already been surpassed as of Oct. 31, pointing to a 22% increase in reported gonorrhea infections for 2020.
This increase is even more alarming as it is likely an underestimate of the actual burden of disease due to decreased testing for STDs during the pandemic. While under normal circumstances the response to such an increase would include a call for broader testing, there is a national shortage of collection kits and laboratory supplies used to test for gonorrhea.
“A shortage of testing supplies during a significant statewide increase in cases presents an alarming potential for a host of negative health outcomes for Michiganders,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “Because laboratory testing is challenging at this time, it is imperative that medical providers continue to clinically diagnose and treat suspected cases of gonorrhea to slow the spread in our state.”
Critical to the current gonorrhea increase and supply shortage, and because of pressure on the public health system, CDC and MDHHS urge providers to evaluate and treat patients presenting with signs or symptoms of infection, regardless of laboratory confirmation.
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