FARMINGTON -- Sexually transmitted diseases are still increasing in Davis County, health officials say.
The county saw a 37 percent increase in reported chlamydia cases in 2009 as compared to 2008, said Brian Hatch, the county's communicable disease and epidemiology director.
Gonorrhea cases are also increasing, he said.
However, "influenza also hit the county hard this year," Hatch said.
Hatch presented the preliminary 2009 communicable disease report to the Davis County Health Board on Tuesday.
Of the 1,517 disease reports the county received in 2009, almost 52 percent were sexually transmitted diseases. The majority of those cases were chlamydia, with 735 cases reported.
Influenza jumped from the sixth-most reported disease in 2008, with 57 hospitalized cases reported, to the No. 2 ranking in 2009, with 153 reported cases requiring hospitalization.
"Sexually transmitted diseases are still a problem in Davis County, Utah and the western United States," said Lewis Garrett, director of the Davis County Health Department.
Garrett said the rates may have gone up because the county has become more efficient in testing and screening for the diseases and because it is also testing more people.
That is, in part, the result of the county's partnership with Midtown Community Health Clinic, a free clinic that offers free testing, Hatch said. However, the increase is still significant compared with 10 years ago, when 50 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people in Davis County were reported.
The county did experience some decreases in several communicable diseases that were reported, Garrett said.
One of those was West Nile virus, with no cases reported in 2009 compared with seven reported in 2007. Also, the number of cryptosporidiosis cases reported in 2009 decreased significantly compared with 2007, when 294 cases of the swimming pool-related disease were reported. Thhree cases were reported in 2009.
Davis County health officials also tracked several gastrointestinal infections linked to some of the national outbreaks, Hatch said.
* Two cases of E. coli linked to 7-ounce steaks.
* One case of E. coli connected to Toll House cookie dough.
* One case of salmonella connected to a peanut butter recall.
* Two cases of salmonella linked to pet frogs.
* Two cases of E. coli linked to rodeo attendance.
* A gastrointestinal infection linked to a high school swim meet in St. George,
* A norovirus (virus that causes gastroenteritis or "stomach flu") outbreak involving a family reunion at Bear Lake, where 60 people from Utah, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho and California attended and 30 became ill.
* A salmonella outbreak associated with a family reunion at Island Park, Idaho, at which 30 people attended and 17 became ill.
* A Giardia cluster in a Layton neighborhood involving an illegal cross-connection of secondary water into Layton's culinary water source.