Tuesday, December 06, 2022

New state STD data shows syphilis cases continued to climb during gonorrhea epidemic

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – When it comes to health and infection, there is a growing problem in the United States that has nothing to do with the coronavirus – sexually transmitted diseases, especially gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia.

A new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found all 50 states with varying degrees of venereal, or sexually transmitted, diseases among the state’s population. The data gave public health experts new insight into what happened during the pandemic, showing that some STD rates fell during the first months of 2020, but surpassed pre-COVID levels by the end of the year. Did it

While the data in the main CDC report is based on infections in 2020, preliminary data for 2021 suggest the problem is not going away, instead, the health agency said, adding that some diseases such as syphilis were spreading.

In an alarming trend, cases of congenital syphilis, in which infection occurs from mother to child during pregnancy, jumped 235% from 2016, the CDC noted. Health experts say the spike in cases was linked to mothers not receiving timely prenatal care or syphilis testing during the pandemic. While only 24 states reported at least one case of congenital syphilis during 2011, that number increased to 47 in 2020.

These were the top 10 states for congenital syphilis in 2020:

Post state cases Rate per 100,000 live births
1 new Mexico 42 182.9
2 Arizona 120 151.2
3 Texas 561 148.6
4 Nevada 46 131.2
5 Oklahoma 53 107.8
6 california 481 107.7
7 louisiana 63 106.9
8 Mississippi 37 101.0
9 alaska 8 81.4
10 airy 12 71.4

The cases of gonorrhea also increased by 45% from 2016 to 2020, while the cases of syphilis increased by 52%.

“There has been an 111% increase in reported gonorrhea rates since the historic low in 2009,” the CDC reported. “During 2019-2020, the overall rate of reported gonorrhea increased by 5.7%.” He said there was an increase in the number of reported cases from 2009 to 2013, mainly in men. According to the CDC, the number of cases has increased in 36 states.

Here are the top 10 states when it comes to gonorrhea rates in 2020:

Post state cases rate per 100,000
1 Mississippi 13,773 462.8
2 louisiana 15,483 333.1
3 South Carolina 16,705 324.4
4 alabama 14,426 294.2
5 Oklahoma 11,204 283.1
6 Missouri 16,855 274.6
7 South Dakota 2,424 274.0
8 alaska 1,982 270.9
9 Tennessee 18,458 270.3
10 North Carolina 28,258 269.4

According to the CDC, chlamydia infections declined by 1.2% across the U.S. to 1.6 million since 2016, but that may not reflect the actual decrease in infections.

“Since chlamydial infections are usually asymptomatic, case rates are strongly influenced by screening coverage,” the report said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, many health care clinics limit in-person visits to symptomatic patients or close completely, and it is likely that preventive health care visits where STD screening usually takes place, such as annual reproductive health visits for young women, decreased.”

The CDC said the report “serves as a reminder that STDs remain a significant public health concern, even in the face of a pandemic.

Despite a proven and effective method of both treatment and prevention, the rise in syphilis cases has caused concern to the CDC. In 1999, the CDC reported that it would be possible to “eliminate syphilis” within an entire country’s borders. The report said that most of the infections were in the south at that time.

Trends reported more than 20 years ago still hold true, as evidenced by the number of southern states in the top 10 for syphilis and congenital syphilis.

After the CDC released the data on April 12, some reactions to it were mixed, especially from advocates reviewing President Joe Biden’s budget plan.

The National Coalition of STD Directors, a national public health membership organization representing Department of Health STD directors and their employees, urged the U.S. government to increase CDC’s budget to help fight the spread of diseases, the report said.

“This reaffirms once again that the United States is not taking the STD crisis seriously enough,” said NCSD Executive Director David C. Harvey. “We can fight this uncontrollable pandemic only with fresh funding and the urgency that shows the enormity of this crisis.”

NCSD has tracked how COVID-19 affected its ability to track disease spread in the US during the pandemic. This is a problem that even the CDC has acknowledged when publishing STD surveillance data.

“In 2020, COVID-19 will significantly impact STD surveillance and prevention efforts,” the CDC said. “This report reflects the realities of a strained public health infrastructure, as well as provides the most current data on reported cases of STDs in the United States.”

The NCSD said the challenges of the pandemic created barriers to access to testing and healthcare in communities fighting STDs. He said the diseases affected youth “profoundly” and added to a “dramatic climb in congenital syphilis”. When the president released the budget plan for the coming fiscal year, the organization said keeping the CDC’s STD budget flat or unchanged would not help reverse the growing trend of infections in the US.

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