3 sexually transmitted diseases hit new highs again in US

This 1975 file microscope image made available by the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows chlamydia trachomatis bacteria magnified 200 times. The number of cases of STDs - chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis - in California reached a record high in 2017, and officials are particularly concerned by a spike in stillbirths due to congenital syphilis, state health authorities said Monday, May 14, 2018. (Dr. E. Arum, Dr. N. Jacobs/CDC via AP, File)
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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. infections from three sexually transmitted diseases have risen for the fifth consecutive year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the numbers Tuesday.

The increases in STDs coincided with public health funding cuts and clinic closures.

More than 1.7 million cases of chlamydia were reported last year. The infection rate rose 3 percent from 2017.

It's the most ever reported in a year, though the trend is mainly attributed to increased testing.

About 580,000 gonorrhea cases were reported. That’s the highest number since 1991. The rate rose 5 percent. Scientists worry antibiotic resistance may be a factor.

And the syphilis rate rose 15 percent. About 35,000 cases of the most contagious forms of the disease were reported — also the most since 1991.

Cases of congenital syphilis - or syphilis that’s spread from mother to baby during pregnancy - increased 40 percent to more than 1,300 cases.

Five states – Texas, California, Florida, Arizona, and Louisiana – accounted for 70 percent of congenital syphilis cases in the U.S., though most states have at least one case of it.

As a result, the numbers of newborns who died from congenital syphilis increased 22 percent from 2017 to 2018 - from 77 to 94 deaths.

Congenital syphilis can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, newborn death, and severe lifelong physical and neurological problems, the CDC reported.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., contributed to this report.