Omaha Public Radio News
Thu February 18, 2010
Health report shows some STD rates on the decline in Douglas County
By Katie Knapp Schubert
Omaha, NE – A new report shows rates of two sexually transmitted diseases are on the decline in Douglas County.
The State of Public Health report was released Wednesday. Chlamydia rates in Douglas County are down 8.9 percent from their peak level in 2004. Gonorrhea cases have declined 23 percent. Health Department Director Dr. Adi Pour says that's promising at a time when the number of STD cases is up nationwide. But Douglas County's STD rates remain above the state and national average.
The number of STD cases is higher in the county's minority community than in the white community. That's one of several health disparities noted in the report. Douglas County's minority community also has a higher infant mortality rate and more deaths from asthma. Dr. Pour says the resources are available in Douglas County to reduce those disparities. She wants to bring those resources together to create a road map for addressing minority health issues.
Also, the report notes improvements in the county's emergency planning and in the number of children screened for elevated blood lead levels. Douglas County had a goal of screening 16,000 young people by 2010. 15,200 have been screened, and health department officials say 100 percent of those with elevated blood lead levels are under case management.