Gonorrhea Cases Up in California, Western States
The number of gonorrhea cases in California and seven other western states has increased by 42% from 2000 to 2005 while declining by 10% nationally, according to a report released Thursday by CDC, the Los Angeles Times reports.
California in 2005 had 34,338 cases of gonorrhea, the most in the West.
State health officials around 2003 began noticing a rise in cases in counties that had previously reported few cases.
Gail Bolan, chief of the STD Control Branch of the Department of Health Services, said county investigations discovered an increase among prisoners and methamphetamine users, who are likely to engage in unprotected sex. Bolan said it is "really going to be a challenge to treat this public health problem" (Chong, Los Angeles Times, 3/16).