A new study analyzed Google searches for medical conditions by state. The goal was to determine which health issues were of highest concern among a state’s residents. The information in the study does not reflect which health conditions are the biggest problem in a certain state. In several states, the study found that syphilis was the number one searched health concern. Let’s take a look at which states not only search for syphilis the most but also have an increased rate of syphilis cases in recent years:
In recent years, syphilis has made a comeback in California. Syphilis can result in blindness, hearing loss and neurologic problems. In the worst scenario, untreated syphilis can eventually lead to death.
Men in the state of California were most commonly affected by syphilis although there has been an increase in cases in women as well. California has seen a rise in congenital syphilis. There have been 30 stillbirths resulting from congenital syphilis statewide in the past year. This is the highest number reported since 1995.
Syphilis has been returning throughout Colorado for several years now. In 2012, the state of Colorado launched a campaign called, “Syphilis is Up” to build awareness of the risks of the infection. This was in response to a 350% spike in the condition over the previous year.
Since that year, syphilis has been steadily increasing each year. While other STDs have also increased, syphilis has become a major concern among sexual health professionals in the state.
Over a period of the last 6 years, more than half of all STD cases have been reported in young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Georgia has one of the highest STD transmission rates per capita, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and prevention.
According to the CDC, Georgia ranks fourth in the nation for syphilis and ninth for chlamydia. This shows a continued need for sexual health education reform throughout the state, yet schools are resistant. While the state health department continues its campaigns to increase educational materials, STD case rates in the state continue to rise.
STD case rates have been rising in Illinois steadily over the past several years. Chlamydia is by far the most common STD in the state, with 72,201 cases in 2016, according to a CDC report. There were 21,199 gonorrhea cases and 2,398 early syphilis cases.
While it appears that syphilis cases are the lowest among the three STDs, syphilis actually saw the largest increase from 2015 to 2016 with a staggering 21% increase. This increase was largely amongst the male population of the state as they showed a significantly higher number of syphilis reports than in women.
Last year, Pennsylvania saw the highest number of cases reported in the state since 2012. This included chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Several counties saw as high as a 38% increase in STD cases since the previous year. The lack of resources for sexual health in the county is often cited as the main factor. The health department is not currently capable of notifying sexual partners and is calling upon patient’s to do so in order to help stop the spread of these infections.
If you believe you may have been exposed to gonorrhea or any other STD you should seek medical care right away. There are many options for STD testing in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania and many other states. These options are both convenient and affordable.