In response to a spike in syphilis and gonorrhea cases, one Oregon county is sending medical sleuths to break the bad news in-person. Some people have no idea they've been exposed to an infection.
The U.S. has the highest rates of sexually transmitted disease cases in the industrialized world, say health trackers, with chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reaching 2.3 million cases in 2017.
In addition to the record rise in cases of sexually transmitted diseases, the state has seen a spike in the number of stillbirths caused by syphilis.
This is the latest in a long history of gonorrhea developing resistance to antibiotics. It's the first global report of gonorrhea that is resistant to the two main drugs used to treat it.
The sexually transmitted disease is typically not fatal but can cause a lifetime of suffering. And the go-to drugs are increasingly less effective.
The CDC reports a sharp rise in infections of sexually transmitted diseases, and says lack of funding for state and local health clinics that help prevent spread of the diseases is a key factor.
The World Health Organization released new treatment guidelines that acknowledge an entire class of antibiotics is now all but useless against the sexually transmitted disease.
Most people testing positive for a sexually transmitted disease may want to do the right thing and let former sexual partners know. But such conversations aren't easy. In Spokane, you can ask the health department to make the call — and not use your name.