Sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases have reached record-high numbers in California, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In 2017, the number of California residents diagnosed with gonorrhea (over 13,000 cases), chlamydia (over 75,000 cases) or syphilis (over 218,000 cases) hit a consecutive three-year record, according to the California Department of Public Health. (RELATED: Washington DC Is Swamped With Teenagers Who Have Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
The 300,000+ people diagnosed last year represents a 45-percent increase in STD cases since 2013.
Those most commonly affected by chlamydia and gonorrhea are under 30 years old. As The Sacramento Bee reports, “Rates of chlamydia are highest among young women, while men account for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.
Officials are particularly concerned by mothers infected with syphilis, which has led to a significant increase in the number of stillborn babies. Stillbirths have quadrupled since 2013. In 2017, there were 278 stillbirths and 47 babies born with congenital syphilis in LA.
But California isn’t alone; STDs have been on the rise over the past five years across the U.S. As the Times explains, “Experts blame the increases on falling condom use, fewer public health clinics and people having more sexual partners linked to dating apps.”
If left untreated, these STDs can lead to a range of health issues in both adults and babies with infected mothers including infertility, ectopic or premature birth, chronic pain, blindness, hearing loss, meningitis and neurological disorders. (RELATED: Once-Great Liberal Journal: Trump Probably Has Syphilis)