SPECIAL REPORT: How health officials are dealing with spike in STD cases

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by Dayne Marae, WSBT 22 Reporter

This is part two of our look into a disturbing health trend in northern Indiana. Part one can be found here.

Stopping the spread. Sexually Transmitted Diseases are on the rise in Northern Indiana, and there are no signs of that changing. But some health professionals are working to stop that trend in its tracks.

They say awareness and education can help.

What does it take to tackle the issue? It takes a lot of patience and persistence.

Disease intervention specialists spend countless hours notifying people who have been exposed to STDs and providing testing and treatment. But as times change, it's proving more difficult to track down those who may be at risk.

It's a personal problem that's becoming all too public.

“It's such a private issue, you know? It's someone's sex life,” says Laura Cianciola.

STD cases are increasing across the state in alarming numbers, hitting St. Joseph County and other areas of northern Indiana particularly hard.

"Looking at 2016, St. Joseph County has seen an increase in gonorrhea and chlamydia,” says Cianciola. “Increases over what the national and what the state average are, so that's concerning.”