” This is a tip that as we fight the COVID-19 pandemic, there are other outbreaks that need our attention,” Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Alaskas State Epidemiologist, said in a statement to regional TELEVISION outlet KTUU-2.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC) advised states with STD centers to open under capacity constraints in an effort to focus on patients who have STD symptoms and groups that are considered high danger, the local outlet reported.
According to local media reports, the states Department of Health and Social Services said sexually transmitted diseases are at an all-time high across the country and in Alaska. The State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin on syphilis, released Thursday, mentioned the number of cases of the sexually transferred disease doubled in 2019, and health officials are concerned the numbers will reach a comparable high in 2020.
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According to the bulletin, the majority of increased cases remained in heterosexual men and women. The rise in female cases raises the risk of females passing the infection on to their infants, authorities said, adding in the report that this “underscores the importance of STD screening at the preliminary prenatal check out, throughout the 3rd trimester, and at the time of shipment for those at-risk.”.
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Chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea are becoming increasingly common in the U.S. Though often treatable, these STDs need treatment in order to avoid severe complications.
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To reduce the spread of the illness, the department encouraged Alaskans to take safety measures, get evaluated regularly, and look for treatment and notify their partner if they are positive, according to KTUU-2.
In the middle of coronavirus, Alaska health officials are dealing with another break out– syphilis.
A syphilis break out in Alaska was first stated in 2018. At the time, 114 cases were reported to state epidemiologists. By 2019, the number of syphilis cases increased to 242, representing a 112 percent increase.
Many elements added to the climb in cases. Among them were methamphetamine and heroin use, homelessness, and a history of incarceration within 12 months prior to the study, according to the states Epidemiology Bulletin.
At the time, 114 cases were reported to state epidemiologists.