USA infections from three sexually transmitted diseases have risen for the fifth consecutive year.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that Kansas reported 152 cases of primary and secondary stage syphilis in 2018, compared with 60 in 2013.
STD rates in the United States are continuing a years-long climb - including a sharp rise in the number of babies born with syphilis.
Antibiotics can cure chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, but many people fail to get screened and treated for the diseases. This stat comes by way of the CDC's newest "STD Surveillance Report", which has found combined cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia rising in the USA for the past five years, CNN reports.
CDC data released today show that STDs in the U.S. hit all-time highs in 2018, after five straight years of dramatic increases.
In 2018, there were an astounding 35,000 confirmed cases of the disease.
Over 115,000 syphilis cases were reported, including more than 1,300 infections among newborns.More news: Effects of global slowdown more pronounced in India
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"STDs can come at a high cost for babies and other vulnerable populations", said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.
Despite these limitations, the new report serves as a barometer for the country's overall STD trends, and things aren't looking good. The number of newborn deaths related to syphilis also increased 22 percent, resulting in 94 fatalities.
Pregnant women with syphilis can pass the infection to the fetus they're carrying.
"The resurgence of syphilis, and particularly congenital syphilis, is not an arbitrary event, but rather a symptom of a deteriorating public health infrastructure and lack of access to health care", Gail Bolan, the CDC's director of STD Prevention, said in the report.
The county ranked 13th in California for rates of chlamydia with 2,704 cases reported in 2018. But the CDC report does note that state and local STD program budgets have been cut in recent years, leading to staff layoffs and reduced hours at sexual health clinics.
The CDC officials say that transmissions of syphilis, as well as other STIs, is driven by impoverished areas and low condom use among young people and men who are gay or bisexual.
When it comes to gonorrhea, one of the concerns is its ever-increasing resistance to antibiotics.