According to a 2008 study by a team from UBC and the University of Victoria, the rate of chlamydia among 15 to 24 years olds in northeastern B.C. is 22 per cent higher than the provincial average. The chlamydia rate in the Northease, extrapolated from a small sample, was 1,168 infections per 100,000 people, versus the provincewide average of 955.
"People were describing that time as a boom," said lead author Shira Goldenberg, who is now a researcher at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. "Oil and gas seemed fairly new to the communities at the time."
Another of Goldenberg's studies found that chlamydia rates in Fort St. John doubled between 1997 and 2008 - a phenomena that roughly coincided with a new era of gas exploration.