Vandalia Leader

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Health department report shows woes, improvements

Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:49 am

Audrain County’s new, publicly funded Health Department may prove well worth the vote, given the county tops the ranks in Missouri for Chlamydia prevalence.

The Audrain County Health Department (ACHD) released its annual report Wednesday, January 23, showing a 50 percent increase in communicable diseases, which range from animal bites to the flu and sexually transmitted diseases. Yet, it’s not all bad news. Some statistical rises in the report relate to positive aspects in Audrain County health.

For sexually transmitted diseases, the increase from 39 reported cases in 2011 to 42 cases of chlamydia, or about one in ten of the 356 communicable diseases noted in the 2012 report, may seem slight.

“That number is the highest prevalence of chlamydia in the State of Missouri,” Kevin Lowrance, ACHD administrator, said. “It’s been on a steady rise. It’s not a number you want to be at.”

Lowrance also expressed discomfort with the eight reported cases of gonorrhea in 2012.

“Gonorrhea is typically a big-city disease,” he said. “To see eight cases in Audrain County is somewhat disturbing to say the least.”

“People need to be talking to their kids about sexually transmitted diseases,” Lowrance said. “There is information out there. I’m not saying it is just the kids because it runs across all age groups.”

Pick up a copy of the Leader’s January 30 issue to read the full report.