© Diane Crocker
Kim Dawson, regional sexual and reproductive health consultant with Western Health, says there has not been any cases of gonorrhea so far this year.
CORNER BROOK — Western Health hasn’t recorded a case of gonorrhea since 2010, but Kim Dawson said that doesn’t mean there are no instances of sexually transmitted disease in the region.
Dawson, regional sexual and reproductive health consultant, said it’s possible there are people out there with gonorrhea who are not getting treatment.
“That’s the key thing,” she said. “There’s no cases that we know of.”
The lack of cases in the western region is different from what’s occurring in Eastern Health where 21 cases have been reported so far in 2013. That’s up from five in 2012 and four in 2011.
Outside of unreported cases, Dawson said the lack of cases in the region could be due to education.
“Hopefully people are getting the message that if you are going to make that decision to have sex, that you’re going to choose to have safer sex,” she said.
Dawson said Western Health tracks incidents of gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases and infections through reports from physicians.
“If someone had some symptoms they would go to their family doctor and they would be tested. Once the test came back positive then it would go to the communicable disease control department, and then they would do the contact, tracing and follow-up.”
Dawson said this would involve contacting the affected person, finding out about their sexual partners and contacting those people to advise them to be tested.