The number one reported disease in Muskingum County is Chlamydia — a sexually transmitted disease. It’s especially a problem with men and women between the ages of 14 and 21.
On average the health department reports 55 to 65 cases a month. The disease often has no symptoms but could cause severe consequences.
"Frequently it doesn’t cause symptoms about 75% are asymptotic so they end up spreading the disease to others. Chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and it can cause problems with pregnancy, it can also be transmitted to babies. " said Epidmediologist, Kristen Baker.
People who do experience symptoms report itching, burning and discharge. Baker says there are a few ways to protect yourself from contracting the infection.
" Uou can prevent getting chlamydia through abstaining from sex, being in a monogamous relationship where you make sure that your partner and you are both tested and test negative or you can reduce infection by wearing latex condom, " said Baker.
Chlamydia increases susceptibility to other STD’s including gonorrhea and even the incurable HIV virus . Chlamydia is treatable and baker says once treated , people must abstain from sex until their partner is also cured.