FREDERICTON (GNB) – As the number of gonorrhea cases in the province continues to rise, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell is reminding New Brunswickers of the ongoing outbreak and emphasizing the importance of safe sex practices.

“Anyone having unprotected sex is encouraged to get tested,” said Russell. “I know that it sometimes takes courage to choose to get tested, but it is incredibly important you do, especially since it is not uncommon for someone to have more than one sexually transmitted infection at a time.”

The current outbreak was first announced in April 2019. During the first half of 2021, 74 cases of gonorrhea were reported in the province. The typical annual average of reported cases is 54.

Sexually transmitted infections, sometimes called sexually transmitted diseases, are caused by a bacteria, virus or parasite passed from one person to another through unprotected sexual contact.

“Sexually transmitted infections can have lasting effects on a person’s health and getting tested frequently and treated when necessary should be part of your routine health checkup,” said Russell. “This helps to prevent further complications like infertility and helps stop the transmission of the infection to someone else.”

People with sexual partners, regardless of sexual orientation, may have been exposed to gonorrhea without their knowledge.

Anybody who believes they may have been exposed to such infections should consult their doctor or contact a Public Health office, even if no symptoms are present.