Officials at the Washington State Department of Health have declared gonorrhea outbreak in Walla Walla County.
Over the last three months, the county has experienced 27 cases compared with six cases during the same time in 2018, according to the Washington Disease Reporting System data.
Walla Walla County is now the only county in Washington State with a gonorrhea outbreak. This has kept the “Communicable Disease Unit” on high alert among the officials at the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health.
In the United States, sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates have been rising. There has been an increase in the strains of drug-resistant gonorrhea. In 2006, there were five recommended ways to treat gonorrhea. And now in 2019, there is only one treatment option left. In 2017, diagnoses for STD reached an all-time high.
Public health officials have been encouraging all sexually active people to get themselves regularly checked for STDs. They have also been advising people to consistently use condoms if they are at risk.
According to the CDC, gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that affects the mucous membranes of the reproductive organs; however, it can also affect the mucous membranes of the mouth, throat, rectum, and even eyes. If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to complications, such as sterility, gonococcal arthritis (joint infections), blindness, and an increased risk of getting other STDs like syphilis and HIV.