Kansas sees rise in syphilis cases, newborns with disease

Henrietta Strickland
October 9, 2019

Health officials are calling it an epidemic. 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. And there were 79,397 cases of gonorrhea, 211% more than 10 years ago. Chlamydia increased 56% to 232,181 cases.

In San Luis Obispo County, 1,200 cases of chlamydia were reported in 2018.

STD rates are rising all over California, in both men and women, the report found. There were 188 cases of gonorrhea reported and 29 cases of early syphilis.

Nationwide, STD rates have continued to grow for the fifth consecutive year, and 2018 represented an all-time high.

Kansas had eight cases of newborns being born with syphilis in 2018. Gonorrhea cases totaled 501 and there were 95 cases of early syphilis.

Almost 2.46 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and other STDs were reported in 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report. The number of newborn deaths related to syphilis also increased 22 percent, resulting in 94 fatalities.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are curable but often don't show symptoms and go undetected.

STDs can lead to a number of serious health problems if left untreated, including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease and vision loss. Thirty-one infants also had other symptoms or complications. According to the CDC, this is a result of decreased condom use among high-risk groups; lack of access or coverage for medical care; decreases in local STD and partner notification services; the asymptomatic nature of some of these infections; and stigma and discrimination.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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