Percentage of Chlamydia Cases Grows in Yakima County
The percentage of people with Chlamydia in Yakima County continues to grow. And our news partner KIMA Action News reports if you haven't been screened for STDs you probably should.
Two years ago, Yakima County's Chlamydia rate was not only higher than the state average, but it was the second highest throughout Washington with about 464 cases for every 100,000 people. That's higher than Benton, Franklin, King, and Kittitas County.
That number has continued to climb. Last year, it jumped to over 1,200 cases. And in the first six months of this year, it's on pace to surpass that.
The Health Department says it's important people get treated to prevent spreading it to others.
"A lot of them do not have any symptoms but can be causing internal damage that you're not aware of and the treatments for most of them are actually fairly simple," said Yakima Health District nurse David Miller, R.N.
It's not just treatment, but prevention that will help keep numbers down. The first step is to use protection and get tested. In 2009, there were over 6,200 people tested at Planned Parenthood, and last year just under 5,800.
They say people don't get tested because they don't think anything is wrong. Unfortunately, the number one symptom of having an STD is none at all. If you're holding off on getting tested because you're afraid of getting your blood drawn and or needles, go to a place, like Planned Parenthood, and it's a simple urine test.
"I wish I could help every young person in Yakima really understand that Yakima County is an extraordinarily unsafe place to have unprotected sex," said Planned Parenthood's Executive Vice President Gina Popovic.