Amid coronavirus, Alaska health officials are dealing with another outbreak — syphilis.
According to local media reports, the state’s Department of Health and Social Services said sexually transmitted diseases are at an all-time high nationwide and in Alaska. The State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin on syphilis, published Thursday, stated the number of cases of the sexually transmitted disease doubled in 2019, and health officials are concerned the numbers will reach a similar high in 2020.
According to the bulletin, the majority of increased cases were in heterosexual men and women. The rise in female cases raises the risk of women passing the infection on to their babies, officials said, adding in the report that this “underscores the importance of STD screening at the initial prenatal visit, during the third trimester, and at the time of delivery for those at-risk.”
“This is a reminder that as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, there are other outbreaks that need our attention,” Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Alaska’s State Epidemiologist,