With the number of people flocking to western North Dakota to work in the oil fields, one might expect the number of sexually transmitted diseases to be going up drastically. But that might not be the case.
According to Sarah Weininger, epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health, case numbers for both chlamydia and gonorrhea have increased. There has been a 20 percent increase in gonorrhea and have had an exponential increase in that since 2009, she said, with 151 cases in 2009 and over 300 in 2012. However, in looking at the numbers, the counties with the increase in sexually transmitted diseases are not in the oil field, Weininger noted.
The increase occurred in Cass County, which has doubled, and Rolette County has also seen an increase. Ward County, on the other hand, saw a 52 percent decrease in gonorrhea cases, Weininger added. “With more people moving in, you’d think there would be more (cases).”