Reported Sexually Transmitted Diseases Reach Epidemic levels in California


CDC says that Alaska has been experiencing a gonorrhea outbreak since October of 2017.

For 2018, the California Department of Public Health saw an increased number of reported syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia cases.

And, noted the CDC, they are seeing an alarming rise in newborn deaths from congenital syphilis, with almost 100 infants dying of the disease in 2018.

Nationwide, STD rates have continued to grow for the fifth consecutive year, and 2018 represented an all-time high. The total includes some 1,300 cases of congenital syphilis in newborns. Meanwhile, there were more than 580,000 cases of gonorrhea, and about 38,000 cases of primary, secondary, and congenital syphilis.

In 2018, there were almost 2.5 million confirmed cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis - the highest combined number of all three ever documented.

The CDC writes that "urgent action from all types of stakeholders is needed to help control the increases in STDs", and says that it is working to develop a federal action plan to stop the rise in rates. Babies dying from preventable conditions, like congenital syphilis, is not an outcome we can accept.

The increases coincided with public health funding cuts and clinic closures.

The rise in STDs and failure to adequately support prevention programs also threatens our nation's Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative.

Officials are trying to stay ahead of the curve to prevent cases of congenital syphilis by helping women to seek prenatal care early in pregnancy, and ensuring that doctors are screening for the disease to provide any who are infected with treatment. And for the past five years, the conclusions have been the same: After years of decline, the most commonly reported STDs in the United States - chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis - are staging a comeback. Stronger sustained efforts among public health and healthcare systems are needed to curb these rates, starting with providing education other than that of abstinence only.

Recap: Chlamydia has increased 19% since 2014 to over 1.8 million cases.

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

In 2018, there were an astounding 35,000 confirmed cases of the disease. Scientists worry antibiotic resistance may be a factor.