As is often said, the devil is in the details. The annual Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) report released on Tuesday is no exception. The CDC reported data on three STDs; gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia. According to the report, the U.S. had about 2.4 million STDs cases in 2020, down slightly from the 2.6 million cases in 2019. However, the CDC noted that a deeper dive into the data shows a more troubling picture.
Data for each type of STD shows an on-going public health problem. The U.S. saw the number of gonorrhea and syphilis (excluding newborns) cases increase in 2020 compared to 2019 by 10% and 7%, respectively, as compared to 2019. Case numbers for syphilis in newborns, or congenital syphilis, were 15% higher than in 2019. Reported cases of chlamydia declined 13% from 2019, but the CDC noted that this is likely due to fewer screenings due to the Covid-19 pandemic and not a reduction in prevalence. The decline in chlamydia cases drove the overall STDs reduction, as it represents the greatest proportion of STD cases.
Throughout April, public health, medical groups, community organizations work to raise awareness of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The campaigns also work to ensure that people have the tools and knowledge to prevent, test for, and promptly treat STDs. If left untreated, STDs s can lead to severe health complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), increased risk of getting HIV, certain cancers, and even infertility. This week’s CDC report highlights the increased need for efforts to reduce STDs.
This Weekend Reading Series begins with News Break, with current news on a variety of healthcare related topics, including STDs. In Money Matters, you will find articles on predicting high-cost patients, medical fraud, and much more. Next explore the articles in IT Tracking, including a new cancer factfinder tool, use of AI to predict fatal heart attacks and other information technology news. Finally, do not miss Hop In and my personal favorite, Building the World of ‘Pachinko’ in K- Drama Backlots, featuring AEPC Chair Phil Schloop’s daughter, Mara LePere-Schloop!
I hope you enjoy the following:
1. News Break
- Kaiser Health News: When Symptoms Linger for Weeks, Is It Long Covid?
- HealthDay: STDs May Be More Common Than Thought Among U.S. High School Kids
- Kaiser Health News: Babies Die as Congenital Syphilis Continues a Decade-Long Surge Across the US
- HealthDay: Total Economic Burden of MS Was $85.4 Billion in U.S. in 2019
2. Money Matters
- Bloomberg: Major Insurers Are Scamming Billions from Medicare, Whistle-Blowers Say. Billing for illnesses that don’t exist, like prostate cancer in a woman
- STAT: Health systems are using machine learning to predict high-cost care. Will it help patients?
- Harvard Magazine: Gun Violence: A new study of gun injuries quantifies the impacts on survivors—and their families
- CNBC: Here’s why health savings accounts may contribute to inequality
- Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI): Examining HSAs Through a DEI Lens
3. IT Tracker
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Cancer FactFinder website launched to provide fact-based, reliable information about causes of cancer
- University of Colorado Boulder: ‘Patient influencers’ are booming on social media. Is that good or bad?
- Futurity: AI predicts if and when you might have a fatal heart attack
- STAT: At small and rural hospitals, ransomware attacks are causing unprecedented crises
4. Hop In
- McGill Office for Science and Society (OSS): Bunnies and Cancer
- IndieWire: Building the World of ‘Pachinko’ in K- Drama Backlots and ‘Enemy Architecture’
- The Wall Street Journal: Just In Time for Easter, the Bunnies Are Multiplying. An abundance of escaped rabbits is keeping volunteers and local officials on the run; ‘the bunny SWAT team’
- The Smithsonian Magazine: The First Syphilis Cure Was the First ‘Magic Bullet’
Enjoy your weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]