Louisiana Ranks High on STD Report

STDs at all-time high: CDC warns syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia sexually transmitted disease cases reach record high

STDs at all-time high: CDC warns syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia sexually transmitted disease cases reach record high

115,045 cases of syphilis; 71% increase of infectious syphilis since 2014. The agency called a 40% increase in congenital syphilis from 2017 to 2018 "a risky trend" and said syphilis in newborns is a tragic outcome of what it described as a growing STD epidemic.

Virginia Bowen, an epidemiologist at the CDC, said social, cultural and economic factors may contribute to increases in reported STD cases. According to the agency, three sexually-transmitted diseases in particular reached a combined all-time high in the United States past year, including tragic cases of newborns who died as a outcome of congenital syphilis. Five states - Texas, California, Florida, Arizona, and Louisiana - accounted for 70 percent of all congenital syphilis cases a year ago. Gonorrhea and syphilis cases are also rising to the highest number reported in roughly 30 years. The most recent report analyzed STD data for the year 2018 and reports a total of about 1.8 million cases of chlamydia infection were reported to the CDC last year, making it the most common notifiable condition in the United States. Stillbirth and newborn death are both legitimate risks for expecting mothers who have syphilis, and even if the baby survives, it may face serious developmental issues.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the numbers Tuesday. Combine that with risk factors such as drug use and poverty, as well as reductions in STD awareness programs at both the state and local levels across the USA, and you have a recipe for record-breaking STD numbers. All three diseases can be cured with antibiotics, but only if the patient seeks medical help.

Kansas has seen a big jump in syphilis cases over the past five years and a spike in the number of infants born with the sexually transmitted disease. Over the years, gonorrhea has become resistant to almost every class of antibiotics used against it. Ceftriaxone (Rocephin) now stands as the only antibiotic to retain high effectiveness against gonorrhea in the United States, the CDC says.

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