Marion County Health Department Says Gonorrhea Outbreak Growing

MARION COUNTY — The Marion County Public Health Department says an outbreak of gonorrhea continues to grow in the community with almost double the average annual number being reported this year.

According to the department, 83 cases of the sexually transmitted disease have been recorded so far this year, which is up from 74 at the end of August. The previous high was 35 cases recorded in 2012.

High-risk behaviors, such as multiple sex partners, and unprotected sex are being blamed for much of the increase.

Drug and alcohol use lead to lowered inhibitions and often result in people doing things they otherwise wouldn’t do. Also, meeting people online is leading to more anonymous sex.

Chlamydia cases also remain a problem in Marion County, with 133 recorded through the end of August.

Repeat cases are also being seen, where both types of sexually transmitted diseases are showing up or in a combination with hepatitis C which is most likely tied to illegal drug usage.