Report: What Happened to Communicable Diseases in 2019? – State of the reform

Even as COVID-19 continues to grab the headlines, other diseases continue to spread in Washington, and a recent report from the state Department of Health provides information on the status of several communicable diseases in 2019.

The report, released in September, summarizes the communicable diseases reported by local health authorities. The most frequently reported diseases remain sexually transmitted diseases, chronic hepatitis, diarrheal infections, whooping cough and tuberculosis. However, only a fraction of the actual number of cases are reported to a surveillance system, and many people may not know they have an active infection or have not sought care.

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The rate of Chlamydia trachomatis was higher in 2019 than any previous year since at least 1989, when the data in the report stops. In 2019, there were 498.8 infections per 100,000 people statewide. Whitman, Yakima and Franklin counties had the highest infection rates per 100,000, while King County had the highest number, with 11,547 infections.

Gonorrhea was also at its highest rate since 1987, with 157 infections per 100,000. Yakima, Pierce and King counties had the highest rates of gonorrhea infections per 100,000 population.

Chronic hepatitis B cases were much higher in 2019, both in rate and number. The statewide rate of chronic hepatitis B was 89.5 per 100,000 that year, up from 29.2 per 100,000 in 2018. Mason, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties recorded the highest rates. At the same time, the rate of chronic hepatitis C declined in 2019, from 108.9 in 2018 to 89.2 per 100,000 in 2019.

The rate of HIV cases per 100,000 was slightly higher in 2019 than the previous year, continuing an upward trend in the state since 2011. In 2019, there were 181.7 HIV cases per 100,000 Washingtonians. , the highest rates being observed in Mason and King. counties. In 2019, 141 deaths were attributed to HIV statewide.

The number of syphilis cases, including primary and secondary infections, also increased in 2019, reaching 11 cases per 100,000 and a total of 830 cases statewide. Spokane, Cowlitz and King counties experienced the highest rates.

It’s also worth noting that the number of Lyme disease cases also increased in 2019, to 43, from 20 in 2018. There have also been 90 cases of measles reported statewide, largely due to of two epidemics that occurred that year.


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