The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recently released the 2017 sexually transmitted disease (STD) data and it shows increases in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis from 2016.
In 2017, the number of chlamydia cases reported was 32,454, up from 31,195 cases in 2016. Gonorrhea and syphilis showed the same rise with gonorrhea (10,022 in 2017/ 8,165 in 2016) and syphilis (674/569).
Breaking it down by county, King County reported the most with 9,760 chlamydia cases, 4,178 gonorrhea and 323 syphilis cases. This was followed by Pierce with 5,434, 1,772 and 63 cases for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, respectively.
Data show sexually transmitted disease rates are higher among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Health officials urge these individuals to talk to their medical provider about testing for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV at least once a year.
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Untreated STDs can cause serious problems. Pregnant women experience some of the worst outcomes from untreated STDs. Congenital syphilis is a growing problem in Washington. From 2016 to 2017, there were as many cases of congenital syphilis as in the previous 10 years combined.
DOH is working with local public health agencies and community partners to enhance their capacity to investigate and reduce the spread of STDs. Early detection and treatment can interrupt the steady climb of STD rates.
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