STD cases hit record high in US; CDC warns of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea

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After increasing four consecutive years, cases of sexually transmitted diseases jumped to record highs in 2017, a CDC report found.

The analysis found the roughly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported to the CDC for 2017 surpassed the previous 2016 record by more than 200,000 cases.

From 2013 to 2017:

  • Syphilis cases nearly doubled
  • Gonorrhea cases rose by 67 percent
  • Chlamydia stayed at record highs

The report also said the threat of untreatable gonorrhea continues in the U.S., and reports of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea abroad have reinforced health officials' concerns.

Gonorrhea has become resistant to almost every class of antibiotics used to treat it over the years, except ceftriaxone, the only highly effective antibiotic that remains to treat gonorrhea in the U.S.

"We expect gonorrhea will eventually wear down our last highly effective antibiotic, and additional treatment options are urgently needed," said Gail Bolan, MD, director of the CDC's division of STD prevention. "We can't let our defenses down. We must continue reinforcing efforts to rapidly detect and prevent resistance as long as possible."

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