Department of Health Services: STD rates continue to rise nationally and in Missouri
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said the rate of sexually transmitted diseases continues to rise, after the CDC said they were at an all-time high. Over the past five years, the CDC said it has seen a 74 percent increase in syphilis cases.
Cases rose during the COVID-19 pandemic as STD-related prevention and care activities were disrupted, and Missouri is seeing the same rate increases. The DHSS said it has especially seen an increase in syphilis and congenital syphilis (when a mother passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy).
In 2015, Missouri had two cases of congenital syphilis. Six years later, that number has increased to 63.
DHSS said it continues to work with the St. Louis STI/HIV Prevention and Training Center to inform and educate health care providers about current evidence-based prevention, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. The department is encouraging the public to practice safe sex and seek routine testing for STDs as Missouri sees increases in these cases. Among the many advocacy goals from the DHSS, it is asking all pregnant women in Missouri to be screened for syphilis to avoid future negative health consequences that could lead to a baby being born with low weight or as a stillborn.
The department is also continuing to expand its STD and HIB testing sites with free testing. To fine a site near you, go to Health.Mo.Gov/Testing.
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