A spokeswoman for the Wyoming Department of Health says officials are concerned about an increase in gonorrhea cases compared to last year.

Kim Deti says so far 61 cases of the sexually transmitted disease (STD) have been reported in Wyoming in 2015, compared to only 31 this time last year Courtney Smith of the health department says that increase is large enough to qualify as an 'outbreak" of the disease.

Gonorrhea is transmitted through unprotected sexual activity. While it isn't considered nearly as serious as as STDs such as HIV (AIDS) or syphilis, it still can lead to such health problems as pelvic inflammatory disease in women and infertility in both men and women.

It's also a concern because other states in the region have seen an increase in the more serious STDs along with gonorrhea. Since those diseases are also transmitted by unprotected sex Deti says it's important to follow safe sexual practices to prevent any kind of sexually transmitted disease.

She says those practices can include abstinence, limited numbers of sexual partners, condom use and getting tested before starting a new sexual relationship. Deti says there is a website that provides more information on STDs and also offers voucher codes for free or low-cost STD testing.

Deti says almost half of the Wyoming cases of gonorrhea identified so far have involved people between the ages of 20-29