Sexually transmitted diseases grow “exponentially” in ND, but down in the oil patch

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).”

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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