California reaches another record high in STD cases. Officials are concerned because of the rise in the number of stillbirths caused by congenital syphilis.
The California Department of Public Health recorded more than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in the state for 2017. Chlamydia and gonorrhea were also recorded to have the most incidents for people under 30 years old.
Meanwhile, the health department recorded 30 stillbirths due to congenital syphilis. This number, health authorities said, is alarming. It is the highest registered number since 1995. In 2013, there were only eight incidents of such.
In 2016, the US had 2 million cases of STDs with California having one of the highest rates recorded. Meanwhile, in 2015, the state had its record-high cases of STD in 25 years. From 2014 to 2015, there had been a 12 percent increase in cases which infers that the number is rapidly increasing, surpassing the national average.
Also in 2015, 479 chlamydia cases were recorded in 100,000 people in the US. There were 486 noted in California and 560 in the Los Angeles County. The incidents among gay men and those aged 15 to 25 are the highest numbers recorded.
Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a medicine professor at UCLA, said that the steady increase, especially in congenital syphilis, is “shameful.” He also noted that Thailand, Cuba, and Belarus nearly eliminated infection in infants.
Dr. Klausner also said that the cut in funds for healthcare caused clinics to close and a decline in education programs regarding risk and treatment options. To which, Dr. Heidi Bauer of the state health department’s STD Control Branch agreed. An estimated $20 million is for health care, which the department says is not enough for California’s 40 million residents.
Health authorities are also making sure to increase efforts to follow up reported cases, especially those involving pregnant women with syphilis. The health department also looks forward to providing education regarding the risk of such STDs, and about screening and treatment.
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