CLEARFIELD - The most prevalent diseases found in Davis County in 2013 were sexually transmitted diseases, accounting for 53.6 percent of all diseases in the county.
Davis County saw a 50 percent rise in the number of cases of gonorrhea that jumped from 40 reported cases in 2012 to 60 in 2013, according to the annual Communicable Disease report released at last week’s Davis County Board of Health meeting
“It was a busy year,” Wendy Garcia, the director of the Communicable Disease and Epidemiology Division for the Davis County Health Department told board members, as the health department investigated 1,737 diseases. “Each year the disease load increases,” she said.
While the number of gonorrhea cases jumped, the STD chlamydia accounted for the largest disease burden in the county with 847 cases reported. The number is a slight decrease from 2012 when 862 cases were reported. Yet the disease still accounts for 91 percent of all STDs in the county, according to the report.
Hepatitis C infections came in second only to chlamydia in prevalence, Garcia said. In 2013, new treatment regimens were made available that provided better cure rates, the report said.
The 2012-2013 influenza season started early, Garcia said, and by the end of the season the numbers had nearly tripled from those seen in the 2011-2012 year. In 2011-12, there were 27 hospitalized cases reported, but in 2012-13 that had risen to 76.
Garcia told board members that influenza was the seventh most prevalent disease in the county last year, but has already risen to the fourth most prevalent this year.
For the second year, the county is seeing an increase in pertussis cases. In 2012 there were 139 cases, Garcia said ‘ a significant increase from the 25 reported in 2011. Last year there were 104 cases reported.
Garcia told board members that while pertussis generally hits hardest during the winter months when people tend to remain indoors, a cluster of cases occurred during the summer of 2013, involving a large number of children and adolescents.
Pertussis tends to be cyclical, with outbreaks every six to eight years, she said, adding that cases generally are found among those who have not been immunized or are under-immunized.
The county also saw cases of norovirus, a gastrointestinal disease that is often under-reported because the symptoms are short-lived, limiting the window that testing can be effective, Garcia said.
The department saw three outbreaks of some gastrointestinal ailment in long-term care facilities at about the same time, Garcia said. The facilities all conducted a deep cleaning for norovirus, because cleaning well enough to kill norovirus will kill other gastrointestinal diseases.
Samonella cases also increased from 19 in 2012 to 49 in 2013, Garcia said. Several of the cases were linked to national and statewide outbreaks connected to exposure to reptiles, poultry and the consumption of raw milk.
One Davis County resident was part of an out-of-state outbreak involving an eatery where tapas are served, Garcia said. The outbreak ultimately affected about 200 from 20 states and two foreign countries.