KHQ MD ALERT: Gonorrhea Outbreak Increases In Spokane County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ MD ALERT: Gonorrhea Outbreak Increases In Spokane County

  • Also on KHQ.comMore>>

  • KHQMD

    KHQMD

    KHQMD - presented by Rockwood Clinic and Deaconess Medical Center - Your Health, Right Now>>
    KHQMD - presented by Rockwood Clinic and Deaconess Medical Center - Your Health, Right Now>>

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD), in collaboration with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), recently noted an unexpected increase in the number of gonorrhea cases in Spokane County.

In consideration of these numbers, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has declared a gonorrhea outbreak for the county. Current data at the end of September 2013 shows a 58 percent increase in gonorrhea cases in Spokane County compared to the same period in 2012.  

Gonorrhea often has no symptoms, especially in women, and due to its asymptomatic nature, testing for gonorrhea remains as important as ever.   "In the majority of recent cases, these individuals were treated in an emergency room or urgent care setting, indicating these cases progressed to symptoms, as opposed to being diagnosed through screening," said Dr. Joel McCullough, SRHD health officer. "In addition to being more vigilant about protected sex, this is an opportunity for our community to step up its screening for gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases."  

Gonorrhea is one of several common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and is spread when a person has unprotected sex with someone who has the disease. Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men and although appropriate antibiotics will cure the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done prior to treatment.  

The 2012 Spokane County rate for gonorrhea was 38.1 per 100,000, compared to the statewide rate of 48.1. Year-to-date, the state is also experiencing an increase in cases, up 33 percent compared to last year. Both Spokane County and Washington state remain below the national rate for gonorrhea, which in 2011 was 104.2 per 100,000.  

Sexually-active individuals with symptoms such as penile or vaginal discharge, burning during urination, painful intercourse or, in women, lower abdominal pain, should stop having sex and see a health care provider immediately. Also, anyone with a sexual partner who was recently diagnosed with an STD should see their provider for evaluation.

Some people should be tested for gonorrhea even if they do not have symptoms or know of a sex partner who has gonorrhea. "Anyone who is sexually active should discuss his or her risk factors with a health care provider and ask whether he or she should be tested for gonorrhea or other STDs. Most of the time, a simple urine test can be used to test for gonorrhea," said Dr. McCullough."  

As part of local public health's role in STD control, the health district also sent an update to area health care providers Monday, urging them to screen patients with new or multiple sex partners, as well as treat infections with a recommended dual antibiotic treatment and consider screening and treatment for patients' partners.  

And although the current outbreak is not related to antibiotic resistance, public health and health care providers continue to monitor for the emergence of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea in the community. It is critical to remember that currently-recommended antibiotics remain effective in the United States.  

Other public health responsibilities in STD control include community-wide promotion of safer sexual behaviors and encouraging residents to seek health care, where STD screening and treatment is an integrated part of care. The health district also provides sexual health education for people who have been recently diagnosed with an STD and assistance with anonymously notifying their sex partners about potential exposure. SRHD also offers disease reporting assistance to health care providers.  

If a person has questions about his or her individual risk, possible treatment or about gonorrhea in general, they should talk to their health care provider or visit www.srhd.org. Health care providers needing assistance in diagnosis, treatment or partner notification should visit stdtoolkit.srhd.org  or call (509) 324-1494.

Spokane Regional Health District's web site also offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police confirm body of missing Spokane man Ian Powers found in bay; Death ruled accidental

    Police confirm body of missing Spokane man Ian Powers found in bay; Death ruled accidental

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 11:35 AM EST2018-11-20 16:35:21 GMT

    SAN FRANCISCO - The Santa Clara Police Department has confirmed the body of 32-year-old Ian Powers from Spokane was found in the water near Alviso Marina on Saturday. According to the department, the Coroner's Office has determined that the cause of death was salt water drowning. The manner of death has been ruled an accident. 

    >>

    SAN FRANCISCO - The Santa Clara Police Department has confirmed the body of 32-year-old Ian Powers from Spokane was found in the water near Alviso Marina on Saturday. According to the department, the Coroner's Office has determined that the cause of death was salt water drowning. The manner of death has been ruled an accident. 

    >>
  • How you can help the family of 8-year-old boy randomly stabbed at Spokane Valley gas station

    How you can help the family of 8-year-old boy randomly stabbed at Spokane Valley gas station

    Monday, November 19 2018 9:46 PM EST2018-11-20 02:46:19 GMT

    Several locals are trying to help the family of an eight-year-old boy, who was randomly stabbed at a gas station Saturday. Rayel Von Quade said she and three others (Salem Rose Sovereign, Quincey Brooks and Dani Loup) have been in touch with the Bush family. (KHQ has reached out to the family and have not heard back.) "They're, of course, very overwhelmed and stressed out right now and she's been dealing with a lot of messages from a lot of people coming through. But she says t...

    >>

    Several locals are trying to help the family of an eight-year-old boy, who was randomly stabbed at a gas station Saturday. Rayel Von Quade said she and three others (Salem Rose Sovereign, Quincey Brooks and Dani Loup) have been in touch with the Bush family. (KHQ has reached out to the family and have not heard back.) "They're, of course, very overwhelmed and stressed out right now and she's been dealing with a lot of messages from a lot of people coming through. But she says t...

    >>
  • E-coli concerns trigger recall of nearly 100,000 pounds of ground beef

    E-coli concerns trigger recall of nearly 100,000 pounds of ground beef

    Monday, November 19 2018 1:23 PM EST2018-11-19 18:23:43 GMT

    JBS USA has recalled nearly 100,000 pounds of ground beef due to concerns about possible e-coli contamination. The products have the establishment number Est.628 and were produced on October 24th. Products that were recalled were shipped to distributors in retail locations in California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.  

    >>

    JBS USA has recalled nearly 100,000 pounds of ground beef due to concerns about possible e-coli contamination. The products have the establishment number Est.628 and were produced on October 24th. Products that were recalled were shipped to distributors in retail locations in California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.  

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Trump grants poultry pardons to turkeys Peas and Carrots

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 2:02 PM EST2018-11-20 19:02:52 GMT

    WASHINGTON - In an annual Thanksgiving tradition, President Donald Trump has used the power of his office to keep a pair of turkeys off the holiday table. Trump's poultry pardon means the two turkeys - a 39-pound bird named Peas and a 41-pounder named Carrots - will get to live the rest of their lives at a Virginia farm. Both were raised on a farm near Huron, South Dakota. 

    >>

    WASHINGTON - In an annual Thanksgiving tradition, President Donald Trump has used the power of his office to keep a pair of turkeys off the holiday table. Trump's poultry pardon means the two turkeys - a 39-pound bird named Peas and a 41-pounder named Carrots - will get to live the rest of their lives at a Virginia farm. Both were raised on a farm near Huron, South Dakota. 

    >>
  • Fire contained to attic in Indian Trail home

    Fire contained to attic in Indian Trail home

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 1:52 PM EST2018-11-20 18:52:32 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Firefighters put out a house fire in the Indian Trail neighborhood near Woodridge Elementary Tuesday morning.  Responding crews could see flames coming from the chimney on the side of the house on N. Seminole Drive. Firefighters quickly began their attack and were able to contain the flames to a corner in the attic.  No injuries were reported.  

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Firefighters put out a house fire in the Indian Trail neighborhood near Woodridge Elementary Tuesday morning.  Responding crews could see flames coming from the chimney on the side of the house on N. Seminole Drive. Firefighters quickly began their attack and were able to contain the flames to a corner in the attic.  No injuries were reported.  

    >>
  • Cable subscribers are increasingly cutting the cord; turning to streaming

    Cable subscribers are increasingly cutting the cord; turning to streaming

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 1:42 PM EST2018-11-20 18:42:27 GMT

    Consumers are cutting the cord and ditching their cable subscriptions. In the past quarter, more than 1 million consumers canceled their cable TV or satellite subscriptions.  That’s one of the largest seasonal drops ever. The trend is increasing pressure even more on pay-TV providers to make money in other ways. However, it may be a lost cause. 

    >>

    Consumers are cutting the cord and ditching their cable subscriptions. In the past quarter, more than 1 million consumers canceled their cable TV or satellite subscriptions.  That’s one of the largest seasonal drops ever. The trend is increasing pressure even more on pay-TV providers to make money in other ways. However, it may be a lost cause. 

    >>