The number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases in California reached a record high past year and officials are particularly concerned by a spike in stillbirths due to congenital syphilis, state health authorities said Monday.
An undated photo shows a home test kit to detect sexually transmitted diseases.
As per the report released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), over 300,000 cases of gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia have been reported in the year 2017, which is a 45 percent jump in such cases from the data collected five years ago. Rates of chlamydia are most astounding among young ladies, while men represent the greater part of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.
The report said that people who are under the age of 30 are the ones who suffer with chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
Bauer also suggested the rise in STDs may be a symptom of more general problems in areas such as the economically hard-hit San Joaquin Valley where people are struggling with poverty, substance abuse, mental health issues and homelessness. Officials say regular STD testing is important because most people who are infected don't know it.
Therefore, in order to educate people and spread awareness about the alarming risks of STD, the health officials are now working with schools, community groups as well as youth organisations across California. This is the highest number reported since 1995.
When it comes to gonorrhea, Kern is fourth in the state with 2,265 reported cases. Young women suffer the most with chlamydia. With 13,605 recorded cases, early syphilis reached its highest rate since 1987. A third of all cases were reported among individuals under 25. In 2017, Kern County had 59 cases, down from 75 in 2016.
Officials are also increasing efforts to follow up on cases, especially those involving pregnant women with syphilis, she said. Untreated infections can cause health issues including brain disease, according to CDPH.
Different stages of syphilis (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary) have different symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states. Syphilis can result in blindness, hearing loss and neurologic problems.
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