Kansas sees rise in syphilis cases, newborns with disease

This 1975 file microscope

Almost 2.5 million cases of these sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the year.

There were more than 115,000 syphilis cases. Alaska ranked about in the middle of states for primary, secondary and congenital syphilis, but the rate has approximately doubled over the 2013-2017 average.

There were 19 stillbirths or 3 neonatal deaths associated with congenital syphilis past year, according to the report. Despite public health efforts to improve access to treatment and testing the prevalence of STDs continues to climb in recent years, which according to the CDC report represents "an underestimated opponent in the public health battle".

About 580,000 gonorrhea and 35,000 cases of syphilis were reported a year ago, rivaling records set in 1991. Federal funding for syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia prevention has also remained far below the level public-health advocates have requested, as my colleague Russell Berman and I reported in 2016.

On Tuesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report revealing a rise of combined cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis for the fifth consecutive year.


According to Director, Division of STD Prevention with the CDC, Gail Bolan, M.D.: We face a struggle that is at once national, but also highly concentrated.

Public-health advocates say policymakers are essentially asleep at the wheel as STDs creep up slowly and claim more lives.

STDs can lead to a number of serious health problems if left untreated, including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease and vision loss. "The public's health is in danger". "Without a radical shift in how we prioritize sexual health in the United States, we can only expect things to get worse". Chlamydia increased 56% to 232,181 cases. Those cases were up 40% from 2017, the CDC said, and 94 infants died from the infection in 2018. Congenital syphilis has increased 185% since 2014 to 1,306 cases. You can't tell if a person is infected just by how they look, sometimes there may be no visible signs.

When it comes to gonorrhea, one of the concerns is its ever-increasing resistance to antibiotics. No one is immune to STDs, so "don't be silly, wrap up that willy" because a few moments of being irresponsible are not worth the risk or the consequences.

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