2017 Calif. Public Health Report: Kern County among highest rates of STDs in state
15 May, 2018, 18:21
The internet has indeed helped many people find their partners online, but it has also played a significant role in increasing the number of sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases among couples in California in the year 2017, said the health officials on Monday.
More than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and early syphilis were diagnosed in California in 2017- a 45% increase in just 5 years. In total, there were 75,560 cases in 2017, representing a 16 percent increase from the year before, making the rate 190.5 cases per 100,000 Californians.
See the CDPH's breakdown of the data here. Young women made up the majority of chlamydia cases; men accounted for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases. Gonorrhea cases saw a 16 percent increase in the same time frame but affected twice as many men than women.
The figure that caused the greatest alarm for researchers and administrators was 30 stillbirths resulting from congenital syphilis statewide - the highest number reported since 1995, the CDPH said.
If left untreated, both chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to serious reproductive health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease or infertility, according to the study. Symptoms include abnormal discharge and a burning sensation during urination, though these signs may not appear for weeks. "And for gay men and other men who have sex with men and trans persons, they should have STD screening every three months", said Dr. Susan Philip from the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Gonorrhea is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24. Many people with STD do not know they have it. This number is up from past year when Kern County had 6,344 reported cases.
Different stages of syphilis (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary) have different symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states. You can get syphilis by having direct contact with a sore. African-Americans had early-syphilis rates two-times higher than whites.
Another 278 babies were born with the infection, which can cause severe health problems including premature birth, low birth weight, birth defects, blindness and hearing loss.
One of the most alarming is the number of stillbirths occurring as a result of congenital syphilis.
The CDPH expressed plans to collaborate with local health departments and organizations in order to raise awareness about regular testing, safe sex practices, risks and treatment options, etc.
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