St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health is reporting what he termed a “disturbing” increase in the number of sexually transmitted diseases diagnosed in the state.

Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger says the overall number of STDs rose 6-percent last year to an all-time high of just under 26,000. When compared to 2010, when the total was below 20,000, the number of STDs diagnosed in the state is up 33-percent.

“This disturbingly high rate of growth in the number of STD cases shows the need for improved education about STDs among both the general public and healthcare providers,” said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health. “These rates also provide further evidence that eroding basic local public health services not only hurts our ability to respond to intractable problems like STDs, but also to emerging infectious diseases like Zika virus.”

Chlamydia remained the most commonly reported sexually-transmitted disease and is the number one reported infectious disease in Minnesota. The number of cases last year was above 21,200, which was up 7-percent from 2014. There were almost 4100 gonorrhea cases reported last year for a 1-percent increase, while the number of syphilis cases was up 4-percent at 654. While the overall increase involving syphilis was not that large, the report notes that cases among women increased 70-percent last year.

The State Health Department report also shows higher chlamydia and gonorrhea infection rates among communities of color and American Indians when compared to white populations, while higher syphilis rates were found among American Indian and black women.

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