Approximately one in every 15 students at the sole public high school in Crane, Texas has contracted chlamydia.
Crane High School is home to 20 confirmed cases of the sexually transmitted infection among the school’s 300 or so students, local CBS affiliate KOSA-TV reports.
Officials in the tiny West Texas school district felt compelled to send a letter to high school parents last week warning about the large number of cases in the high school.
Parents of students in the local junior high school also received the letter.
As the San Antonio Express-News notes, the school district currently teaches sex education during three days in the fall. Abstinence figures prominently in the curriculum.
“If kids are not having any sexual activity, they can’t get this disease,” local school district superintendent Jim T. Rumage told the San Antonio newspaper. “That’s not a bad program.”
On Monday night, the Crane school district’s Health Advisory Committee — composed of parents, teachers and administrators — met to discuss ways to educate students and otherwise combat the local venereal disease epidemic.
The state of Texas is divided into 11 health service regions. Crane is located in Region 9, which saw 3,269 cases of chlamydia in 2013 — a rate of 535.8 per 100,000 residents.
In all of 2013, the city of Crane saw 17 cases of the disease — three fewer than the number the local taxpayer-funded high school currently boasts.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chlamydia is a serious disease which can cause irreversible damage to the female reproductive system. If you have chlamydia and you have a baby, the birth process can cause the newborn to suffer pneumonia or a serious eye infection.
Many people who have chlamydia exhibit no outward symptoms. People who do have symptoms experience various burning sensations, discharges, swelling, rectal pain and bleeding.
The STD is treatable.