Syphilis, gonorrhea cases jumped amid pandemic: 5 CDC findings

Reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases fell during the start of the pandemic — likely due to a drop in screenings — but most rose by the end of 2020, new CDC data shows.

The CDC's 2020 STD surveillance report, released April 12, is based on 2020 case notification data submitted through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, along with data collected through the agency's STD Surveillance Network and Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project.

Five things to know:

1. Reported cases of gonorrhea jumped 10 percent from 2019, while syphilis cases rose 7 percent. 

2. Cases of congenital syphilis were also up 15 percent from 2019 and 235 percent from 2016. 

3. Early data suggest syphilis and congenital syphilis continued to rise in 2021.

4. Cases of chlamydia fell 13 percent in 2020, likely due to decreased STD screenings and underdiagnosis during the pandemic, the CDC said. 

5. The drop in reported chlamydia cases, which historically make up the largest proportion of STDs in the U.S., likely contributed to an overall decrease in the number of reported STDs in 2020 (2.4 million, compared to 2.5 million in 2019). 

Learn more here.

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