HealthDay News — The number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is continuing to increase, with an associated increase in the number of cases of congenital syphilis, according to a report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Jim Braxton, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined trends in and the distribution of nationally reportable STDs and cases of congenital syphilis.
The researchers note that there was an increase in STDs for the fourth consecutive year in 2017. Since 2016, there was a 6.89% increase in chlamydia, an 18.58% increase in gonorrhea, and a 10.17% increase in syphilis. Since 2013, the number of cases of congenital syphilis more than doubled, from 362 to 918, with a 46.17% increase since 2016. The chance of a mother passing syphilis onto her unborn baby is 80% if left untested or untreated. Thirty-seven states reported at least one case of congenital syphilis in 2017, with five states accounting for 70% of all cases. All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis during pregnancy; high-risk women or those in high-prevalence areas should be tested more than once.
“Newborns are now paying the price for our nation’s growing STD crisis. That we have any cases of syphilis among newborns, let alone an increasing number, is a failure of the health care system,” David C. Harvey, executive director of the the National Coalition of STD Directors, said in a statement.