Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

Number of United States residents with STIs reaches record high in 2018

Treponema pallidum the bacterium which causes syphilis Images Computer illustration of Treponema pallidum the bacterium which causes syphilis
Gustavo Carr | 11 October, 2019, 21:53

Congenital syphilis is a form of the disease that is passed from mother to infant during childbirth.

The data includes almost 2.5 million cases combined of chlamydia, a disease which, when undiagnosed, threatens fertility, gonorrhea, a disease growing resistant to existing treatments, syphilis, a disease that had been in decline, and a 40% increase in congenital syphilis, the transmission of the infection from mother to child, carrying risks of miscarriage, death of newborn infants, and lifelong health ramifications.

Cases of chlamydia reached 1.75 million in 2017, the most ever.

CDC also said more than 115,000 cases of syphilis were reported in 2018, marking a 13% increase since 2017 and hitting the highest overall number of syphilis cases reported since 1991.

The CDC reported newborn deaths from syphilis increased 22 percent, from 77 death in 2017 to 94 deaths in 2018.

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The CDC announced its findings on Tuesday, revealing that cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reached record highs in 2018. Five states - Texas, California, Florida, Arizona, and Louisiana - accounted for 70 percent of all congenital syphilis cases previous year.

Kansas Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman said babies born with syphilis may be developmentally delayed, have seizures or die if the infection is not treated during a pregnancy. "We've seen some recently bigger jumps and there's a number of factors to which we attribute that", said Michael Kharfen, senior deputy director of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration at the DC Department of Health, who was not involved in the new CDC report. Without early and regular prenatal care, a pregnant woman may not know she has syphilis and may unknowingly put her baby is at risk.

Some STDs are becoming resistant to antibiotics previously used to treat them.

The increases coincided with public health funding cuts and clinic closures. For experienced public health workers, the upward trend in congenital syphilis numbers is specifically disturbing because the condition is so easy to prevent.