Record High STDs and the Pandemic
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Taken on its own, the fact that sexually transmitted diseases hit an all-time high is concerning, but combine that with the rising danger of antibiotic resistant superbacteria and I'd say it's good the pandemic is temporarily keeping people out of bars. The latest figures in 2018 show 2.5 million cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis, the highest numbers ever recorded. This doesn't include other STDs such as genital herpes, viral hepatitis and HIV. And the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae which causes gonorrhea have strains that have become resistant to antibiotics.

Now doctors in many countries are reporting the first cases of gonorrhea resistance to the standard treatment of combining two antibiotics. So, it is possible this STD soon will not be treatable unless new drugs are developed.

The World Health Organization believes the pandemic may exacerbate this problem. Doctors treating COVID-19 patients routinely include antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections even though they're generally useless on viruses. Doctors are also concerned the pandemic keeps people from seeking treatment. Health experts attribute the high STD numbers to more drug use, poverty, unstable housing and less condom use.

The CDC is working to slow this epidemic. We also need drug companies to develop new powerful antibiotics to fight the threat of superbacteria.

For more information…

CDC data show resurgence of STDs after pandemic-related decline
STDs resurged in the United States by the end of 2020 following a decline in reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in March and April during the first peak of COVID-19, according to a new report...

Trends in STD case reports during the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic, January-December 2020
New CDC data show that during March-April 2020, reported STD cases dramatically decreased compared to the same time in 2019. However, a resurgence in gonorrhea and syphilis cases later in the year suggest overall STDs may have increased during 2020...

Sexually transmitted diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic: A focus on syphilis and gonorrhoea in Cuba
Incidence rates for both STDs were declining before the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Cuba. Following the confirmation of COVID-19 in Cuba and the implementation of social confinement measures, the decreasing incidence rates of syphilis and gonorrhoea continued. When social measures were subsequently relaxed, there was an increase in the incidence of syphilis, but incidence levels of gonorrhoea remained at a plateau...