Published: Fri, October 11, 2019
Medical | By

Rates of sexually transmitted diseases continue to rise in Washington

Rates of sexually transmitted diseases continue to rise in Washington

Kansas has seen a big jump in syphilis cases over the past five years and a spike in the number of infants born with the sexually transmitted disease.

Along with syphilis, data shows Nevada ranking second in rates of congenital syphilis, a disease passed from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy.

The state's case rates of primary and secondary syphilis, congenital syphilis and gonorrhea improved from 2017 to 2018, showing the Louisiana Department of Health's efforts towards STD prevention are making a positive impact.

In particular, rates of four STDs have been on the rise.


Among these, chlamydia is the most commonly reported; with rates being highest in 20 to 24-year-old women. About 35,000 cases of the most contagious forms of the disease were reported - also the most since 1991.

Pregnant women reportedly experience some of the worst outcomes from untreated STDs, including from congenital syphilis, which the Washington State Department of Health says is a growing problem in Washington.

Particularly concerning, the number of congenital syphilis cases was 14% higher than the previous year and almost 900% higher than in 2012. "This points to our need for public health and health care action for each of the cases in this report, as they represent real people, not just numbers". A new bulletin by the CDC paints a particularly dire picture of sexual health in the United States, with some diseases reaching levels not seen for nearly 20 years, and others reaching legitimate all-time highs. University Health Services spokesperson Tami Cate said the Tang Center has seen an uptick in the number of STD cases consistent with national trends. Combine that with risk factors such as drug use and poverty, as well as reductions in STD awareness programs at both the state and local levels across the U.S., and you have a recipe for record-breaking STD numbers.

The state does not make the top ten for chlamydia or gonorrhea. Scientists worry antibiotic resistance may be a factor.

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