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STD cases spike in York - abc27 WHTM

York County

STD cases spike in York

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) -

More than 500 cases of chlamydia are diagnosed each year in York, but it's another sexually transmitted disease that has health experts on edge. In the last year alone, the number of city residents diagnosed with gonorrhea has doubled.

It's a tough issue to talk about, but not for Linda Otera, a disease intervention specialist with the York City Bureau of Health. Her job is to get people in the door.

"In some cases I have to go out in the field and go into their homes," Otera said.

The point is to halt the spread of the two major sexually transmitted diseases currently on the rise in York. They share the same medication, but have very different symptoms.

"Gonorrhea in particular can be very uncomfortable," said Dr. David L. Hawk of the Health Bureau. "Chlamydia is different. There are many people who have very few symptoms and don't know they're infected."

Officials said that's a problem because the nature of these infections mean that any and all sexual partners need to receive treatment as well. It's the reason behind the newly formed Expedited Treatment Partner Program.

"We will give him his medication, watch him take it, and send him on his way," said Otera.

It sounds simple enough, but because the issue has become so intense, the measures to curb the spread now must extend beyond city limits. They're trying to get possible partners from outside areas to take part as well.

And because of state funding, the program is free to patients.

Officials said the good news is that it appears more people are being tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

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