Sexually transmitted disease rates continue to rise in WA

Tuesday, 15 May, 2018

The state recorded more than 300,000 cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and early syphilis in 2017, marking a 45 percent increase from the numbers five years ago.

The California Department of Public Health said Monday that there were more than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and early syphilis reported past year.

The report said that people who are under the age of 30 are the ones who suffer with chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Testing and treatment are available for syphilis, which in adults is a bacterial infection and if left untreated can cause long-term health problems including brain disease. Symptoms include abnormal discharge and a burning sensation during urination, though these signs may not appear for weeks.

Overall, the number of STD cases has been climbing in the U. S. In 2016, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 2 million cases of syphilis, chlamydia or gonorrhea-the highest ever recorded, with California near the top.

Transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy or delivery, congenital syphilis can lead to premature birth, low birth weight, blindness, hearing loss and birth defects, among other issues, according to CDPH. The report found that there were 30 stillbirths due to congenital syphilis in 2017, with a total of 278 congenital syphilis cases. This is the highest number reported since 1995.

CDPH is collaborating with local health departments and organizations throughout the state to raise awareness.

She also partially blamed the funneling of patients away from public health services toward primary care physicians under the Affordable Care Act.

Idaho health officials said the rise in STD rates paralleled the use of mobile dating apps. Men accounted for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.

The health department is spearheading a "multi-pronged" effort to educate the public about the risks and get the word out to medical providers about the latest advances in screening and treatment, Bauer said.

"While there are advocates and champions for cancer, nobody is out there saying, 'I have gonorrhea and these are the best ways to treat it, '" Klausner told the Associated Press.

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

A table depicts the number of gonorrhea cases reported in L.A. County from 2012 to 2017.