Health Care

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Hit New Highs Again in US

The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) released a report outlining nationwide rates of sexually transmitted diseases across the country, and Alaska's rates remained at the top of the list. The increase was 153%.

The rate of STD cases was higher in Santa Barbara County.

Kansas had eight cases of newborns being born with syphilis in 2018.

About 580,000 gonorrhea and 35,000 cases of syphilis were reported previous year, rivaling records set in 1991. That's the highest number since 1991.

"STDs can come at a high cost for babies and other vulnerable populations", Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said in a news release.

The increases coincided with public health funding cuts and clinic closures. "Curbing STDs will improve the overall health of the nation and prevent infertility, HIV, and infant deaths".

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Although it's easily curable in adults, untreated syphilis can wreak havoc on the brain, heart and nervous system.

The infection may trigger a miscarriage or result in still birth.

Altogether, 40 percent of babies delivered by women with untreated syphilis die before, during or shortly after delivery.

But what was particularly concerning for health officials was the number of congenital syphilis diagnoses which rose 14% from the previous year and increased for a sixth consecutive year.

With 1,306 cases of congenital syphilis reported, 2018 had the greatest number of these chronic infections since 1995. "Some people diagnosed with STD have experienced substance use, incarceration, the exchange of sex for money/housing/other resources, poverty, homelessness and disparities in access to care".



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