by Larry Lemmons
Amarillo, Texas - Local health officials are calling it an epidemic. Local agencies and clinics are seeing a rise in the number of young women with the hpv virus. That virus has been linked to cervical cancer.
Today the Centers for Disease Control reveal about one in three young women nationwide have received the hpv vaccine.
Health officials say they hope to make that number higher.
Brian Eades, MD, OBGYN and City Commissioner says, "We see routinely on a daily basis young women in the range of 18 to 20 years old with HPV, Human Papilloma Virus that's totally preventable in many cases and we're seeing it progressing to very serious forms, potentially life-threatening forms, of cervical cancer."
Matt Richardson, the Director of Public Health in Amarillo says, "I think research is showing that there are more cases of cervical cancer. And that cervical cancer is caused and can be caused by the top four HPV viruses that the vaccine prevents. So I think the take home message here clearly is vaccinate your daughters."
Texas Panhandle Family Planning and Health Centers say 104 women under twenty have received the HPV vaccine this year. That's significantly more than last year. Also, they say a quarter of young women getting a pap smear there have shown positive for HPV.
Eades says, "No matter how much we talk about it we don't seem to get the attention of the public to make sure people are getting their vaccines and preventing cervical cancer."