LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — According to a newly released study, Leon County leads all of Florida’s 67 counties for the rate of newly diagnosed cases of chlamydia -- for the fourth year in a row.
According to the 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tool released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Leon County is ranked No. 1 in the state for newly diagnosed cases of chlamydia.
In 2018, Leon County took the top spot in the state for new cases of chlamydia. According to data from past Health Ranking studies, Leon County has taken the top spot in the state for STD infection for at least four years, coming in close second behind Gadsden County from 2011- 2014.
However, according to the study, chlamydia is not the only issue plaguing the county.
The 2019 County Health Rankings also reports that Leon County ranks 6th out of Florida’s 67 counties in terms of “severe housing problems.” In addition, the report ranks Leon County as 9th in terms of income inequality, which it claims is associated with increased risk of sickness and death.
The Florida Department of Health in Leon County says the study highlights the many community factors that influence health. They say the rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.
“We are grateful for partners dedicated to improving the conditions in Leon County that will foster optimal health. Early childhood education, safe and affordable housing, access to healthy food and quality health care are among the priorities being addressed in the Leon County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Their steadfast commitment to health equity is inspiring,” DOH-Leon Health Officer Claudia Blackburn said.
The CHIP is designed to address specific opportunities for improved health that have been identified by the community. Health officials say they, with the help of local partners, have developed a CHIP that addresses the need for affordable housing and sustainable employment.
“United Way of the Big Bend recognizes affordable housing is an ongoing issue across the state. On a local level, we are dedicated to making a positive impact in our community on this pressing issue through strategic collaborations which will serve to promote the economic stability of ALICE households,” Rebecca Weaver, Director of Impact Strategies, United Way of the Big Bend, said.
According to the 2019 County Health Rankings, Leon County residents reported having experienced four “poor mental health days” within the previous month of the survey. The average of all counties combined was 3.8 days.
DOH-Leon is also working with the Mental Health Council of the Big Bend to address mental health issues in the community.
To read more data from the department, click here.