Gonorrhea cases spike in Davis and Weber counties

Feb 12 2014 - 4:12pm

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Source: Davis County
Source: Davis County

CLEARFIELD -- The number of reported gonorrhea cases in Davis County was up 50 percent in 2013, compared to the previous year.

That, according to the 2013 Communicable Diseases report provided by the Davis County Health Communicable Disease & Epidemiology Division.

On Tuesday, a brief recap of the report was presented to the Davis County Health Board by Division Director Wendy Garcia.

The total number of communicable diseases in the county during 2013 was 1,737, Garcia said, "a bit more" than the 1,732 communicable diseases reported in 2012.

Of the total number of communicable diseases reported, 53.6 percent of the county's 2013 numbers involved sexually transmitted disease, Garcia said.

The most notable disease event in 2013 was a 50 percent increase in gonorrhea cases, Garcia reported.

Davis County has experienced a steady incline of cases in recent years, with the exception of 2011 when only 18 cases were reported.

"Gonorrhea in Davis County jumped from 40 reported cases in 2012 to 60 (cases) in 2013," Garcia said.

This increase was noted statewide and nationally, with more infection occurring in females, she said.

For Davis County, the average age infected lowered from age 30 in 2012, to age 27 in 2013, affecting a younger population than what has been seen in past years, Garcia said.

Those risk factors identified through disease investigations were multiple sex partners, men who have sex with men, anonymous sex partners, substance abuse, incarceration and anal intercourse, health officials said.

In 2013, 85 percent of the county's gonorrhea cases identified themselves as heterosexual, compared to 77 percent in 2012, Garcia said.

In Weber County, gonorrhea cases jumped from 44 to 90, a 104 percent increase.

Other communicable diseases of interest in Davis County in 2013 included chlamydia infection, which again accounted for the largest disease burden in the county with 847 cases reported, Garcia said.

That is a slight decrease from the 862 cases in 2012, yet the infection still accounts for 91 percent of the sexually transmitted diseases reported in the county.

Garcia said for the second year in a row the county has also experienced a high number of reported pertussis cases.

In 2013, the county has 104 cases of pertussis reported, many of those in the summer months, compared to the 139 cases reported in 2012, Garcia said.

But the 2012 and 2013 pertussis cases totals are significantly higher than the 25 cases reported in 2011.

Pertussis tends to be a cyclic infection, with outbreaks often occurring every 6 to 8 years.

Salmonella cases did increase significantly, jumping from 19 reported cases in 2012 to 49 cases in 2013.

Several of the cases reported in 2013 were linked by pulsified-field get electrophoresis to national and statewide outbreaks involving exposure to reptiles, chicks or ducks, and the consumption of unpasteurized milk, Garcia said.

One infected individual was linked to an out-of-state outbreak involving a food establishment where tapas are the main food item served, Garcia said. This outbreak affected about 200 individuals from 20 states and two foreign countries, she said.

The county's Communicable Disease report is available at http://daviscountyutah.gov/health/featured_items/2013_communicable_disea...

 

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