Health officials say a record number of Californians were diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease a year ago.
The state report says there's been a 45% increase in Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Early Syphilis in the last 5 years. In 2017, there were 218,710 reported cases of chlamydia, the highest number since 1990, representing a 9% increase over 2016. Gonorrhea cases saw a 16 percent increase in the same time frame but affected twice as many men than women.
According to the state report, officials are most concerned about an uptick in the number of stillbirths due to congenital syphilis.
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.
"STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics", said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.
Common among young people aged 15-24, gonorrhea can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat.
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. Meanwhile, in 2015, the state had its record-high cases of STD in 25 years.More news: More Than 100 Protestors Rally At Michigan Capitol, Block Traffic
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There were 13,605 early syphilis cases reported in 2017, people reporting the first stage of the disease marked by sores in or around the mouth and genitals.
Overall, the number of STD cases has been climbing in the U. S. In 2016, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 2 million cases of syphilis, chlamydia or gonorrhea-the highest ever recorded, with California near the top.
'We've known how to control syphilis since early 1900s.
Syphilis can cause permanent loss of vision, hearing and other neurological problems.
She estimated that about $20 million in state and federal money is allocated yearly to fighting STDs - a small number in a state with almost 40 million residents.
"A lot of students are sexually active, especially younger people, and the hookup culture is pretty prominent", said another. According to health officials, STDs are largely curable and can be easily prevented by taking measures to practice safe sex.