Amid coronavirus, Alaska sees increase in cases of syphilis

Amid coronavirus, Alaska health officials are dealing with another outbreak – syphilis.

According to local media reports, the state Department of Health and Social Services said that sexually transmitted diseases are at an all-time high nationwide and in Alaska. The State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin on Syphilis, published on Thursday, said the number of sexually transmitted disease cases will double in 2019, and health officials believe the number will reach a high level in 2020.

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According to the Bulletin, the majority of the increased cases were in heterosexual men and women. While an increase in female cases increases the risk of women passing on infection to their children, officials said in the report that it “underscores the importance of STD screening in the early prenatal visit, during the third trimester, and on-time exposure” Delivery for people. “

“This is a reminder that as we fight the COVID-19 epidemic, there are other outbreaks that require our attention,” State Epidemiologist of Alaska Dr. Joe McLaughlin said in a statement by local media outlet KTU-2.

The outbreak of syphilis in Alaska was first announced in 2018. At the time, 114 cases were reported to state epidemiologists. But by 2019 the number of syphilis cases has increased to 242, representing a 112 percent increase.

Several factors contributed to the climb in cases. According to the state’s epidemiological bulletin, there was a history of methamphetamine and heroin use, homelessness, and miscarriage in the 12 months prior to the survey.

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Local outlets reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended opening states with STD clinics to prioritize STD symptoms and groups that were considered high risk, in an effort to prioritize patients with STD symptoms. is.

To reduce the spread of the disease, according to Kelasu-2, the department advised Alaskans to exercise caution, undergo regular check-ups and seek treatment, and to inform their partner that they were positive.

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