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Reported STDs Reach Record High in California

15 May 2018

A new report finds that the number of reported sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases in California reached a record high in 2017-and public health officials are particularly concerned about a sharp rise in stillbirths related to congenital syphilis.

More than 300,000 cases of Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and early syphilis were reported: a 45 percent increase compared to five years ago, according to the state.

CDPH noted that 2017 was the "fifth consecutive year for increases in the number of infants born with congenital syphilis", and that there were 278 congenital syphilis cases, including 30 stillbirths, in California last year.

The report details how many cases were diagnosed in California in 2017.

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The health department's director, Dr. Karen Smith, urged sexually active people to use condoms and get tested regularly.

There is a clinic at Kern Public Health. "Most people infected with an STD do not know it". This is up significantly from past year when 1,805 cases were reported. Young women made up the majority of chlamydia cases; men accounted for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.

Common among young people aged 15-24, gonorrhea can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat.

Officials are also increasing efforts to follow up on cases, especially those involving pregnant women with syphilis, she said. If left untreated, gonorrhea can increase chances of getting or transmitting HIV. "The internet allows for a broadening of sexual networks, and the broader that gets the more opportunity you have for sexually transmitted diseases to spread".

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Syphilis can cause permanent loss of vision, hearing and other neurological problems. With a state population of almost 40 million, Bauer said it isn't enough, especially in areas struggling with poverty, substance abuse, mental health issues and homelessness.

More than two million new cases of all three infections were reported in the United States in 2016 - the most ever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This represents an average infection rate of 34.3 cases per 100,000 Californians, higher than the national average of 8.7 per 100,000.

Early syphilis, which includes the primary, secondary and early latent stages of the disease, reached the highest number of cases since 1987, the agency found.

The CDPH expressed plans to collaborate with local health departments and organizations in order to raise awareness about regular testing, safe sex practices, risks and treatment options, etc.

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Reported STDs Reach Record High in California