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Malheur County’s sexually transmitted disease rate shows sharp climb

Malheur County Health Department statistics show certain sexually transmitted diseases increased from 2019 to 2020. (The Enterprise/File).

ONTARIO – While the public health focus for the past year was on Covid, certain sexually transmitted diseases jumped in Malheur County.

Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV increased last year over 2019 and there may be more cases of sexually transmitted diseases that remain undetected in the county, said local health officials.

Social stigma and the onset of Covid hampered testing for the diseases, giving the Malheur County Health Department a blurred view of the efforts to reduce the spread of chlamydia and gonorrhea.

According to health department, of 405 reports of disease infections in 2020, 315 – or 78% – were sexually . . .