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"Out of Control" Gonorrhea Outbreak in Alaska Per CDC

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a report concerning an alarming trend in increased gonorrhea and chlamydia cases in Alaska since 2009. The CDC report noted that the gonorrhea outbreak within Alaska is "out of control" with a 69% increase from 2008 to 2009. The STD outbreak has state health officials perplexed as the outbreak is concentrated in Southwest Alaska. The outbreak also has health officials alarmed as the trend has not declined with a statewide rise since March 2010.

Susan Jones, Alaska's HIV/STD program manager recently told the Anchorage Daily News: "Hopefully, the high numbers now are more of a success story in that people are coming in and getting tested, Though I am surprised the numbers haven't declined. It's this continuing rise in numbers that we haven't been able to get under control."

Health officials state that Alaska's rate of gonorrhea infection is 144 cases per 100,000 people, witha national average 99 cases per 100,000. This number is a dramatic spike as between 2000-2008, Alaska's rate was only 85 cases per 100,000. The report also ranked Alaska ninth in the U.S. for rate of gonorrhea infection and second for incidence of chlamydia infection.

Health officials believe a newer, mild strain of a gonorrhea infection has caused people to delay medical treatment and thereby inadvertently jeopardize their future fertility. Treatment requires a simple swab test and single dose antibiotic. Prevention requires a condom.

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