This story has been updated since its original publication.
Health officials reported Wednesday that gonorrhea has seen a marked increased in Umatilla County.
In the past eight weeks, 15 cases have been reported, according to Sarah Williams, Umatilla County public health director.
Typically the county sees four to six cases in one year, she noted.
“In 2012, we had four cases reported. Total.”
However, the number of cases of the sexually-transmitted infection in the Northwest overall has jumped in the past three months, Williams said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 820,000 people in the United States are infected with gonorrhea every year.
Many people with the disease show no symptoms. If left untreated gonorrhea can lead to infertility and other reproductive problems.
Umatilla County officials are urging safe-sex practices and routine screenings for all sexually active people.
Umatilla County Public Health staff offers screenings, testing and treatment for a minimal fee at either the Pendleton or Hermiston office. Call 541-278-5432 for more information or to make an appointment.
Sheila Hagar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8322.