Reported STD Cases Reach New High in California, Health Officials Find

Reported STD Cases Reach New High in California, Health Officials Find

2017 Calif. Public Health Report: Kern County among highest rates of STDs in state

According to a recent report, sexually transmitted disease (STD) diagnoses reached record highs in the state of California in 2017.

According to the California Department of Public Health, more than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea rates are highest among people under age 30.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea rates among African-Americans were almost five times higher than caucasians, CDPH found. African-Americans reported more than twice the rate for early syphilis than caucasians.

In the last few years, Kern County has seen sexually transmitted disease rates soar, putting Kern's STD rates among the highest in the state.

"STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics", said CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith. Officials say regular STD testing is important because most people who are infected don't know it.

The report shows chlamydia and gonorrhea rates for African-Americans were 5 times higher than for whites.

Therefore, in order to educate people and spread awareness about the alarming risks of STD, the health officials are now working with schools, community groups as well as youth organisations across California. According to the new report, young female Californians comprised of the majority of cases. This number is up from a year ago when Kern County had 6,344 reported cases. A third of all cases were reported among individuals under 25.

Early syphilis, which includes the primary, secondary and early latent stages of the disease, reached the highest number of cases since 1987, the agency found. In 2017, Kern County had 59 cases, down from 75 in 2016. Being diagnosed with syphilis during pregnancy can also put the unborn baby at risk of having a low birth weight, being delivered early or death (stillbirth).

Particularly concerning, in 2017, there were 30 stillbirths due to congenital syphilis in California. Untreated syphilis can lead to permanent vision loss, hearing, and other neurologic problems.

STDs can cause a number of serious health problems.

Latest News