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etvfutures.com May 24, 2018


California Sees 45-Percent Increase In STDs Over 5 Years

16 May 2018, 12:31 | Lena Norman

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

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

Health officials say a record number of Californians were diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease a year ago.

In California, 75,450 gonorrhea cases were reported in 2017, marking it the highest number since 1988. As many as 218,710 cases of chlamydia were recorded, marking the highest rate since 1990. Young women made up the majority of chlamydia cases; men accounted for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.

Gonorrhea rates, however, were two-fold higher in males than females. "Most people infected with an STD do not know it".

Even worse for California health authorities, however, is this: untreated syphilis can result in stillbirths. The 75,450 cases of gonorrhea reported a year ago was the highest number since 1988.

Different stages of syphilis (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary) have different symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states.

For the health officials, the increase is more alarming than ever considering the fact that the number of sexually transmitted disease has increased each year for six years.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) announces since 2012, rates of syphilis among both men and women have been steadily increasing in Los Angeles County and in California.

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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.

Officials blame lack of STD awareness, decreasing number of clinics and less frequent condom usage for the rates, the L.A. Times reported.

CDPH noted that 2017 was the "fifth consecutive year for increases in the number of infants born with congenital syphilis", and that there were 278 congenital syphilis cases, including 30 stillbirths, in California last year.

Sexually active people of the Northwest: Get tested. On the other hand, syphilis can lead to neurologic issues, loss of hearing and blindness.

Health officials said they were working with local public health agencies and community partners to enhance their capacity to investigate and reduce the spread of STDs.

"My goal is to eliminate congenital syphilis cases in LA County", said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.



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