SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The rise of sexually transmitted diseases in Santa Barbara County is causing alarm with public health officials.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department released a report Thursday saying there's been a sharp increase in STD's since 2011.
- Gonorrhea: 212.9% increase (from 101 cases in 2011 to 316 cases in 2016)
- Syphilis: 400% increase (from 5 cases in 2011 to 25 cases in 2016)
- Chlamydia: 29.2% increase (from 1775 cases in 2011 to 2294 cases in 2016)
The rise of STD's is not only affecting Santa Barbara County. Public health officials say the entire country is experiencing an increase of STD's.
Many individuals infected with an STD do not display symptoms and may not know they are infected, according to the Public Health Department. It's recommended that all adults get themselves checked out by their doctor and obtain annual screenings for STD's to protect their health and that of their partner.
"Public Health promotes using protection during sexual activity to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Our communities need to continue to hear that message year after year, as new individuals become sexually active," said the Santa Barbara Public Health Department in a statement. "STD prevention is a priority to safeguard quality of life for thousands of citizens."
If gone untreated, STD's can have severe health impacts.