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The STD chlamydia is on the rise in Michigan

Date:2013-09-03 click:

The sexually transmitted disease chlamydia is on the rise in Michigan, and Livingston County is no exception.

The county has seen a 72 percent increase in the number of cases of chlamydia since 2008, according to the Livingston County Department of Public Health.
There were 297 residents diagnosed with chlamydia in 2012, which are the latest figures available. There were 173 cases in 2008.
Ted Westmeier, director of the Livingston County Department of Public Health, said unprotected sex is the primary reason for the increase.
“Many people do not have symptoms of the disease but carry it,” Westmeier said.
Chlamydia can be spread during vaginal, anal or oral sex. It also can be passed from an infected mother to her unborn child during vaginal birth.
Although symptoms usually occur in one to three weeks, 74 percent of infected females and 50 percent of infected males show no symptoms.
Female symptoms include abnormal vaginal discharge, burning with urination, lower abdominal pain. Male symptoms include discharge from the penis, burning with urination, pain in the testicles or the abdomen.
If left untreated, chlamydia can cause ectopic pregnancy, infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease.
The disease can be treated with antibiotics.
Westmeier said the increase of chlamydia cases in Livingston is a trend occurring across Michigan.
“We’re not different,” he said.
Besides using protection during sex, Westmeier said residents should get regular exams. This is strongly recommended for people who have more than one sex partner and have unprotected sex.
As required by law, chlamydia is one of roughly 100 diseases that all doctors or labs must report when it’s diagnosed.
“It’s really a basic public health program,” Westmeier said. “We are concerned about the care of the individual and the care of the community.”

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