VERMILION COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise across the country. The CDC says that increase has been happening for the last five years. Health leaders say it’s important to remember that these are only the reported cases.
In Vermilion County, there were 510 chlamydia cases in 2018 compared to 516 in 2017. On the other hand, there were 254 gonorrhea cases in 2018 versus 135 of them in 2017. Another disease that went up slightly in diagnosed cases was syphilis, with two cases in 2018, but only one in 2017.
Vermilion County Health Department leaders say they are keeping a close eye on those numbers. That’s because some of these diseases can have deadly consequences.
“We’re seeing also an increase in the number of congenital syphilis – women who pass syphilis on to their infants through childbirth and so uh that’s been our big concern because any child who dies from syphilis they got from their parent is preventable,” said Vermilion County Public Health Administrator Doug Toole.
Although Vermilion County didn’t see a huge spike, county leaders say there are still efforts in place to lower their numbers. They have a health educator who goes out to some of the factories and schools to teach people about symptoms and how preventable the diseases are.
Toole says it’s important to remember that, even if someone is not showing symptoms, they are still capable of passing a disease on to someone else.