SEATTLE -- State health officials say the number of cases of gonorrhea in Washington state has increased significantly this year.
There have been 3,137 cases of the sexually transmitted disease in Washington through September 2013, compared to 2,350 cases during the same period of 2012. That’s a 34 percent increase.
The Department of Health reports numbers are up across the state but some counties are reporting bigger increases, including Spokane, Yakima, Thurston, Kitsap and Benton counties.
Gonorrhea is the second most common sexually transmitted disease in Washington after chlamydia (kluh-MID’-ee-uh). It’s spread through unprotected sex with an infected partner. The infection often has no symptoms.
The disease may lead to infertility and an increased chance of HIV transmission.