In case you missed it, a report last week identified Etowah County as having the highest percentage of STIs in the United States. Now, the Alabama Department of Health is disputing that report:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Report 2016 last week. In the report, the rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia were unusually high in Etowah County.
Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) received several immediate inquiries. The Division of STD Prevention and Control Director, Anthony Merriweather, promptly contacted CDC. Within 24 hours, ADPH received a detailed response from the CDC Surveillance and Special Studies Team.
The reported numbers for Etowah County in 2016 are incorrect. The specific reasons for the difference in the numbers reported by CDC and ADPH have not been determined at this time, but may be related to surveillance system changes that occurred in late 2016.
The ADPH Interim State Epidemiologist, Sherri Davidson, along with the Divisions of STD Prevention and Control, and Information Technology are continuing to work to unravel the origins of the problem and will release a formal report when rectified.