In the midst of the coronavirus, Alaska health officials are dealing with another outbreak – syphilis.
According to local media reports, the state Department of Health and Social Services said sexually transmitted diseases are at an all-time high across the country and in Alaska. The Alaska State Epidemiology Bulletin on Syphilis, published Thursday, stated that the number of sexually transmitted disease cases has doubled in 2019, and health officials are concerned that the numbers will reach a similar high in 2020.
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According to the bulletin, most of the adult cases were in heterosexual men and women. The increase in female cases puts women at risk of passing the infection on to their babies, officials said, adding in the report that this “underscores the importance of STD examination at the initial prenatal visit, during the third trimester, and at the time of delivery for them. who are in danger. “
“This is a reminder that as we fight the COVID-19 pandemic, there are other outbreaks that need our attention,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Alaska State Epidemiologist, in a statement for the local TV appearance KTUU-2.
An outbreak of syphilis in Alaska was first reported in 2018. At that time, 114 cases were reported to state epidemiologists. But by 2019, the number of syphilis cases increased to 242, representing an increase of 112 percent.
Many factors have contributed to the rise of cases. Among them were methamphetamine and heroin use, homelessness and a history of incarceration within the 12 months prior to the study, according to the State Epidemiology Bulletin.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that states with STD clinics open under capacity constraints, in an effort to prioritize patients with STD symptoms and high-risk groups, the local exit reported.
To reduce the spread of the disease, the department advised Alaskans to take precautions, get tested regularly, and seek treatment and inform their partner if they are positive, according to KTUU-2.