Number of Sexually Transmitted Disease Cases in Marion County Draws ConcernThe Marion County Health Department's Director of Nursing is concerned about a continuing trend of high rates of two types of sexually transmitted diseases.
Shelly Yoder says since December of last year through the end of May this year there have been 68 cases of chlamydia and seven cases of gonorrhea. "My big concern is we are still seeing a high number of STD cases with chlamydia being the highest. We are seeing gonorrhea that bacerian becoming more resistant. Right now there is one dual treatment and if that bacterian becomes resistant to that treatment there will not be a treatment for gonorrhea. Individuals need to be very cautious and make sure they are following risk prevention measures and be aware of this," said Yoder.
Yoder says there are serious consequences to not getting treatment. "What that bacteria does is it attacks the reproductive organs and can cause infertility in a female. It can cause pelvic inflamatory disease. In a male, it can cause epididymis and pain and swelling in the testicles," said Yoder.
The high numbers so far this year follow 150 cases of chlamydia and 35 cases of gonorrhea reported last year.
The Health Department currently has four lead poisoning cases among children. Yoder says in most cases the poisoning is coming from paint chips at older homes where lead based paint was used prior to the 1970 ban. She reports in most cases the children do not have to undergo any treatment and the problem goes away once the source is mitigated. However, in some high level cases, such as one of the four current active cases, treatment is required to remove lead from the body.
Environmental Health Director Melissa Mallow reports mosquito traps have been set up to monitor mosquitoes for the West Nile Virus. She reports there have been no positive samples in Marion County and no human cases have been reported so far this year statewide. The first two positive cases in mosquitoes in Southern Illinois were confirmed Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Public Health. They were in Tamaroa in Perry County and in East St. Louis. Mallow says one dead bird was brought in for testing, but it was too deteriorated. The health department has also distributed larvacide to various cities and villages in the county to try and eliminate the mosquito population.
The Heart Smart for Teens program at Franklin Park Middle School this year is being called a success. 98 of the 105 sixth and eighth graders showed improvement in healthy eating and physical activity. A grant is being sought to hold the program again in the coming year.
The health board accepted the resignation of Health Educator Tara DeWitt.
The board tabled action on expanding the parking lot of the Salem Health Department Office. Engineering and construction work for an eight space addition had an estimated cost of $30,000.
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