LEWISTON — Maine public health officials are reaching out to women in Androscoggin and Cumberland counties to stem the rising number of gonorrhea cases in the region.

Posters have popped up in hair salons, nightclubs, colleges, and any place frequented by young women, the largest group testing positive for the sexually transmitted disease.

The state says of the more than 450 reported cases of gonorrhea in Maine last year, more than 40 percent were in Androscoggin County. About 70 percent were in Androscoggin and Cumberland counties combined.

The Sun Journal reports the campaign appears to be working. There have been 51 confirmed cases in Androscoggin County in the first seven months of this year, down from 113 in the same period last year.

State epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears says that’s still too many.

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