Recent sexually transmitted disease reports from the Center of Disease Control revealed that sexually transmitted diseases, STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are at an all-time high. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are all treatable diseases with antibiotics, but if left untreated can cause serious health problems. Cape May County Department of Health offers FREE STD testing every Monday by appointment, and every Tuesday 1:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m., no appointment needed. Take control of your health by calling (609) 465-1194 to make an appointment today.
“The most heartbreaking part of the recent sexually transmitted disease rates released by the Center of Disease Control is the increase of congenital syphilis, which is when syphilis spreads from the mother to unborn infant. New Jersey had a reported 12 congenital syphilis cases in 2016, which is too many, especially since it can be prevented by sexually transmitted disease testing of pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant,” said Natalie Sendler, Director of Nursing at the Cape May County Department of Health.
Out of the two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases that were reported by the Center of Disease Control in the United States for 2016, 28,000 cases were primary and secondary syphilis, which is the most infectious states of the disease. Syphilis rates are the highest they have been in 15 years. Syphilis is transmitted by skin to skin contact during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Syphilis is broken down into primary, secondary, latent and tertiary stages. Symptoms vary from stage to stage. Primary syphilis symptom is usually characterized by a small firm painless sore located at the original site of infection. During secondary syphilis the individual usually experiences a skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, and fever. In latent stage of syphilis individual usually experiences no symptoms, which is why it is so important to catch it early. The tertiary and final stage of syphilis is associated with major medical problems with the heart, brain and other organs of the body.
With the increase in syphilis in the past year came the increase in congenital syphilis, which is the spread of syphilis to unborn infant. Congenital syphilis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, early infant death or severe illness in infants who do survive. Syphilis and congenital syphilis are preventable by getting tested, and treated early.
It is important to understand that anyone who is sexually active is at risk of contracting syphilis and any other sexually transmitted disease. Talk to your health care provider about how to lower your risk and about getting tested. The Cape May County Department of Health offers free sexually transmitted disease testing. Call (609) 465-1194 or visit www.cmchealth.net for more information. Do not become a statistic, go and get tested.