Genesee County reports 44% increase in gonorrhea cases compared to 2019

The 1,283 infections confirmed this year already exceeds the 2019 total with two months to go
 A cartoon showing a gonorrhea bacterium
A cartoon showing a gonorrhea bacterium (KVLY)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 5:29 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Genesee County is reporting a 44% increase in the number of confirmed gonorrhea cases this year compared to 2019.

The Genesee County Health Department has reported 1,283 gonorrhea illnesses as of Oct. 31 in 2020. That already surpassed the 2019 of 1,085 confirmed gonorrhea infections with two months left in the year.

Genesee County’s gonorrhea increase is beyond the statewide increase of 22% reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Statewide, there were more than 18,000 confirmed gonorrhea cases in 2019.

Health officials believe the actual number of gonorrhea infections this year could be much higher, but some cases may go undiagnosed due to a lack of testing supplies.

Following advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging health professionals to treat patients presenting with gonorrhea symptoms as if they have the sexually transmitted illness regardless of whether they test positive.

State health officials also are expanding the use of an approved therapy for probable gonorrhea patients. They recommend people use condoms properly and reduce the number of sexual partners to prevent the illness from spreading.

People experiencing pain while urinating, increased discharge, soreness and vaginal bleeding between periods should contact their doctor. All of those could be symptoms of gonorrhea or another sexually transmitted disease.

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