The following is an excerpt from MedPage Today - Jessica Leston, MPH, and Brigg Reilley, MPH
Arguably, one of the next public health emergencies will be responding to the increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, STI rates were on the rise.
As health systems return to pre-pandemic delivery of services, the ongoing upward trajectory of STIs is coming into focus.
Most alarming is the resurgence of syphilis, known as the "Great Imitator" for the challenges it presents to clinical diagnosis. The latest rates suggest that far from the plans to eliminate syphilis in the 1990s and the 2000s, the disease has once again emerged as a public health threat.
Preliminary data for 2021 show yet another increase of congenital syphilis, considered a sentinel event in the healthcare system.
This growing infectious disease threat deserves urgent attention. Untreated syphilis has severe long-term health consequences and contributes to HIV transmission.
Congenital syphilis leads to greater rates of stillbirth, premature birth, and infant death. Infants who survive can have lifelong disabilities from the infection.
To counteract this trend, we can apply lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic response and previous syphilis outbreaks. Resources, outreach, and innovation can greatly extend the reach and impact of biomedical interventions.
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