According to new reports the number of STD cases in US is increasing sharply and there is an increase in the number of newborns with syphilis. Reports said that cases of Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis combined together reached record high in the year 2018.
The number of cases of STDs that were reported to CDC was about 2.5 million. Elizabeth Torrone who is an epidemiologist with CDC said that this is the 5th consecutive year that there is an increase in the cases of STDs. People are unaware of the infection as they do not show any symptoms. Thus there is more chance of transmitting the disease to the others unknowingly. It has been found that there is a sharp increase in congenital syphilis which is transmitted to the babies from their infected mothers. There was a 40% increase in such cases from the year 2017 and it led to the death of almost 94 babies in 2018.
CDC has advised that pregnant women should be screened for infection during their first prenatal visit since it can be cured by taking proper antibiotics. Women who are at high risk should be asked to undergo tests during their last trimester as well as at delivery. The most common STDs in US like gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia were showing a decline for many years but are again showing a comeback. Some of the reasons which the CDC finds responsible for this trend are decrease in use of condom, poverty, stigma associated with STDs and drug use. Apart from this there has been a reduction in the local and state wise STD programs which resulted in lesser number of screenings and subsequent follow-ups.
All the three infections are caused by bacteria and their potential consequences can range from infertility to complications in pregnancy to an increase in vulnerability to even HIV. According to the director of National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention of CDC, Dr. Jonathan Mermin, the overall health of people can be improved by controlling STDs and can also help in preventing infant deaths, HIV and infertility.