The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published its latest report on the state of STDs in the United States. According to the agency, three sexually-transmitted diseases in particular reached a combined all-time high in the US last year, including tragic cases of newborns who died as a consequence of congenital syphilis. All three diseases can be cured with antibiotics, but only if the patient seeks medical help.
The CDC announced its findings on Tuesday, revealing that cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reached record highs in 2018. Of the more than 115,000 syphilis cases in the US last year, the CDC found that more than 1,300 of them involved newborns who were born with the disease — that is a massive 40-percent increase over the previous year.
In addition, gonorrhea cases increased by 5-percent to 580,000 and chlamydia cases rose 3-percent to more than 1.7 million. The syphilis and gonorrhea cases are the highest reported since 1991, while the chlamydia cases are the highest the CDC has ever reported in its history.
All three diseases can result in serious health consequences if left untreated, including infertility; they also put newborns and other vulnerable people at risk. All three of these STDs can be cured using commonly available antibiotics, underscoring the necessity of seeking treatment when symptoms appear.
The CDC found that five states were responsible for 70-percent of the congenital syphilis cases in newborns last year: Louisiana, Florida, Arizona, Texas, and California. The agency found a number of issues that contributed to these record numbers, including poverty, stigma preventing some people from getting help, drug use, unstable housing, local and state cuts to STD programs, and more.