And the syphilis rate rose 15 percent with about 35,000 cases of the most contagious forms of the disease were reported - also the most since 1991.
"The situation is multifactorial - there's not one simple explanation for why we're seeing the significant increases every year", she says.
There were more than 115,000 syphilis cases.
The rate of STD cases was higher in Santa Barbara County. Congenital syphilis can be fatal to infants: there were 22 stillbirths or neonatal deaths in 2018. And the overall lack of funding means many health departments can't pay for all the tests and medications they need to catch other types of STDs. 2018 saw yet another record high for STDs in the country, with reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis climbing for the fifth straight year.
In yet another tragic report on syphilis in babies, or congenital syphilis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in the Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Surveillance Report, 2018 a total of 1,306 congenital syphilis cases reported in 2018; the most since 1995.
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CDC epidemiologist, Elizabeth Torrone, said, "Combined they total 2.4 million infections that were diagnosed and reported just in previous year alone". Together, all of these factors point to roughly the same sentiment: Americans stopped taking STDs seriously.
"We have an STD crisis in the USA because prevention programs were sold short for years", says David C. Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD).
CDPH is collaborating with local health departments and organizations throughout the state to coordinate efforts to control STDs, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV).
"We have an STD crisis in the USA because prevention programs were sold short for years", David C. Harvey, executive director of the NCSD, said in a statement.
Meanwhile a startling new trend in congenital syphilis has emerged. Babies dying from preventable conditions, like congenital syphilis, is not an outcome we can accept", Harvey said. "This is a heartbreaking symptom of our nation's STD crisis. And in recent years, more than half of local STD treatment and prevention programs have faced budget cuts. No one is immune to STDs, so "don't be silly, wrap up that willy" because a few moments of being irresponsible are not worth the risk or the consequences.