Washington Department of Health

Steven Hurd / Flickr

Health officials officials across the Northwest are trying to figure out why they’re seeing a big upswing in the number of people with gonorrhea this year. Washington announced Thursday five counties are in the midst of an outbreak of the infection.

The Washington outbreaks are in Spokane, Benton, Yakima, Kitsap, and Thurston counties. Overall, the state has seen a 34 percent increase in gonorrhea cases over this time last year.

Washington state's worst outbreak of whooping cough in decades has prompted health officials to declare an epidemic.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

West Nile Virus may be returning to Washington State. The recent wet spring has created an attractive habitat for mosquitoes, some of which carry West Nile.