Gonorrhea cases triple in Wapello County, health officials say
OTTUMWA, Iowa —
Wapello County Public Health officials are seeing a peak of gonorrhea cases.
Data released by the Iowa department of Public Health shows 3,600 cases of gonorrhea were reported in the state last year, which would be a 145 percent increase since 2013.
Health Clinical Director Lynelle Diers said the number in Wapello County has recently tripled.
The majority of cases reported were among men and woman between the age of 15 and 34. Diers said some patients go long periods of time without knowing they're carrying the infection because there aren't obvious symptoms associated with gonorrhea.
“Some of the symptoms are very benign and you may think it's just something else that is very common,” Diers said. “So if you think you've come in contact with a possible sexually transmitted infection, please get yourself tested."
Diers said if women go untreated, the STI could cause infertility.
She added that chlamydia is also very common in Wapello County.
To avoid becoming another statistic, Diers said free protection is available to patients at Wapello County Public Health, Sieda Community Action and the River Hills Community Health Center.