The number of gonorrhea cases in El Paso County has risen 64-percent in the past two years. It’s a dramatic increase that has officials at the health department very concerned.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia rates are at the highest they've been in El Paso County in 5 years.
"We are concerned about it and need to take a look at what’s going on," said Health Department Administrator Rosemary Bakes-Martin.
Chlamydia cases have risen 12-percent in the past 3 years but it’s the gonorrhea numbers that are the most alarming...up from 360 in 2003 to 609 in 2005.
“This increase is 65-percent over 2 years and it has taken us above the overall rate for Colorado," Bakes-Martin said.
She says the increase could be due in part to population growth as well as a huge decrease in department personnel because of budget cuts.
"Our inability to follow up on all contacts for all of our cases may have contributed to this," she said.
Either way it’s a problem that needs to be addressed...they are diseases that are becoming too familiar.
The Health Department will be discussing the STD increases at the County Commissioner meeting on Thursday. They plan to let them know that they can't afford to have any more budget cuts at this time.