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Invisible outbreak: Alberta seeing record number of STI cases

Last Updated Oct 8, 2018 at 3:31 pm MDT

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CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Alberta is still in the midst of an ongoing STI outbreak–clinics are seeing record number of cases of infectious syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.

One of the most common STI’s in Canada is one that can lead to other harmful conditions–human papillomavirus (HPV).

“It’s important that every Canadian takes steps to protect themselves against HPV because it can cause a lot of diseases in the form of genital warts, but also in te form of cancers as well,” explained Dr. Angel Chu, adding HPV-related cancers are some of the most commonly-diagnosed cancers in both men and women.

Chu said it’s very hard to diagnose the infection.

“It’s an invisible infection, it’s a virus, and it’s easily transmissible. In fact, about 75 per cent of Canadians will have an HPV infection in their lifetime.”

Chu suggests to protect yourself from HPV you should speak with a health care professional about the HPV vaccination and to be regularly screened.

“We have extremely safe and highly-effective vaccines that are available for preventing HPV,” she said, adding if you want to look more into the infection, it’s related diseases, or prevention, it’s important you find the right information from credible sources.

-With files from Craig Lester