ITHACA, N.Y. — Tompkins County has seen an uptick in Gonorrhea cases this year, according to statistics provided by the New York Department of Health.

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So far, in 2015, 37 cases of Gonorrhea in Tompkins County have been reported.

That’s up from the following statistics for the same point in previous years:

2014 — 13

2013 — 17

2012 — 13

“Yes, it has increased, and it is of concern,” says Theresa Lyczko, spokesperson for the Tompkins County Health Department, in an interview on Friday.

The reason for the increase is unclear, Lyczko said. The rise of Gonorrhea cases locally was highlighted by Dr. Edward Koppel at a meeting in late July of the Tompkins County Board of Health.

There are plans underway to increase local education and awareness about the prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections, including Gonorrhea, Lyczko said.

“We’re educating them and reminding them that it goes for all STI’s — that people need to take precautions,” she said.

The increase in Gonorrhea, she said, spanned different age spectrums. That included everyone from teenagers to older adults and seniors, she said.

Rates of Chlamydia also appear to be at least slightly higher this year than in previous ones, according to the statistics. Here are the Chlamyida rates at this point in the year since 2012:

2015 — 174

2014 — 137

2013 — 131

2012 — 156

Lyczko said the numbers underscore the importance of taking precautions when having sex.

“There’s always the possibility of being infected,” she said. “It’s always important to take precautions and preventative measures.”

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.