New Report on Reportable Diseases Shows Increase of Chlamydia Cases in 2014

Written by admin, November 12, 2015

November 12, 2015 – Canada’s Most Common Sexually Transmitted Infection Accounts for 52% of All Local Reportable Disease Cases

According to the annual snapshot of reportable diseases released today by Peterborough Public Health, the number of chlamydia cases in 2014 increased by 17%, halting a thDr. Salvaterraree-year trend of decreasing incidence of this common sexually-transmitted infection.

“While 2014 did show an increase in the number of local chlamydia cases, this one year does not necessarily mean the downward trend is reversed,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “It does however serve as a strong reminder to every sexually active person to remain vigilant and use condoms consistently and correctly to prevent the spread of infections.”

Dr. Salvaterra noted that chlamydia primarily affects young adults, particularly women, and that people can be infected not show any symptoms so it’s important to get tested after unprotected sex.  “Our clients who come into the Sexual Health Clinic are always relieved to discover how easy it is to test for and treat chlamydia, and that it’s completely curable when caught early enough,” she explained.

In 2014 chlamydia made up 52% of all confirmed reportable disease cases in Peterborough City and County.   There were 375 cases in 2014 compared to 320 cases in 2013, and the average age of cases was 22 years old and two thirds (66%) were female.

Chlamydia is the most widespread bacterial STI in Canada.  Upwards of 70% of people who are infected may not experience symptoms – typified by a burning sensation when urinating or, in females, symptoms of a vaginal infection.  If left untreated, infections can lead to long-term complications such as infertility.  Sexually active individuals are encouraged to practice consistent condom use seek screening.

Other highlights from Public Health’s 2014 report include an increase in the number of influenza cases.  There were 103 cases in 2013 and 130 in 2014.  Influenza is the most commonly reported respiratory disease and represents 18% of all local reportable diseases.  Influenza is likely under-reported, however, since Public Health requires laboratory confirmation of an infection and most community cases are not brought to a healthcare providers’ attention.

“Getting the flu vaccine every year and getting it early is your best defense against the flu,” said Dr. Salvaterra. “The flu can be very serious for young children and seniors, so you may actually save a life by getting vaccinated, as well as lessen how sick you get if you do get the flu.”

There are more than 60 communicable diseases that all healthcare providers are required to report to Public Health.  The Public Health’s 2014 report organizes these diseases into four categories: food and waterborne diseases; sexually-transmitted and blood-borne infections; diseases spread by direct contact and respiratory routes; and ‘other’ which includes vaccine-preventable diseases, vector-borne diseases, and zoonotic diseases.

To see the full report, visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca, click on “About Us”, then “Plans & Reports”, then “Reportable Diseases in Peterborough (City & County) – 2014”.

 

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391