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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • STDs way up in Minnesota: MDH offers advice

  • Confidential information available at Crookston PCPH office
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  •     A new report from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) shows significant increases in the rates of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) from 2012 to 2013.    
        The state's overall STD rate increased 10 percent and there were 23,133 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported in Minnesota in 2013, compared to 21,465 in 2012 and 19,547 in 2011.   
        Chlamydia is the number one reported infectious disease in the state, and it reached a new high of 18,724 cases in 2013 compared to 18,048 in 2012. The majority of cases occurred in teens and young adults within the ages of 15 to 24. In 2013, Polk County had 58 cases of Chlamydia diagnosed at a rate of 184 cases per 100,000 persons.   
        Gonorrhea remains the second most commonly reported STD in Minnesota, with 3,872 cases reported in 2013 compared to 3,082 in 2012. Fifty-eight percent of all gonorrhea cases occurred among the 15- to 24-year-old age group. In 2013, Polk County had 22 cases of Gonorrhea diagnosed at a rate of 70 cases per 100,000 persons.   
        People can prevent getting or spreading STDs by abstaining from sexual contact, delaying the start of sexual activity, limiting the number of sexual partners, always using latex condoms during sex, and by not sharing needles for drug use, piercing or tattooing. Partners of STD-infected patients also need to get tested and treated to prevent re-infection or spread to others. Getting tested each year or when involved with a new partner is very important, even without symptoms, as most STDs don’t have symptoms.   
        Chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to infertility in women and men and can be passed from an infected woman to her newborn children, causing premature delivery, infant pneumonia and blindness. Untreated gonorrhea can spread to organs and joints leading to life-threatening conditions. Untreated syphilis can cause blindness, mental illness, dementia and death.    
        For confidential information about the prevention, testing and treatment of STDs, questions can be directed to Amanda Hennen, Polk County Public Health at 281-3385 or emailed to:  amanda.hennen@co.polk.mn.us

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