Sexually Transmitted Disease and Infection rates have generally been on the rise for the better part of the last two years. Many states across the country have seen general infection rates increasing significantly, and of course, New York State is not immune to those increases.

Now, while most of the states seeing increases are in the south, the Empire State had seen rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and other STIs increase at out-of-control levels for a while.

Things were so bad in New York that officials from the Department of Health went as far as to issue a special health advisory about syphilis infections. Only if officials knew how bad the syphilis infections were going to get.

What Is Syphilis?

According to the New York State Department of Health, syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is found around the world and is caused by bacteria (Treponema pallidum) that enter through your skin, mouth, or anus. This causes a painless skin ulcer (chancre) to form at the infection site. After an ulcer forms, syphilis spreads through your blood. This causes a skin rash. Later on, in some people, syphilis can cause damage to any organ of the body.

New York State Department of Health
New York State Department of Health

While counties like Erie and Monroe saw rates increase by double, the latest data shows a much more significant increase in another part of New York State.

New York's Nassau and Suffolk Counties Have Been Hit Hard By Syphilis

According to a report from Newsday, Long Island, New York, has seen syphilis rates quadruple, along with a nearly 10x increase in the number of newborn infant deaths from congenital syphilis in 2022.

Congenital syphilis occurs when a mother with syphilis passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy and can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, or death of an infant shortly after birth.

State and Federal officials are urging people to take better care of themselves and ensure they're safe and healthy. The New York State Department of Health has some good tips about how people can do that. They suggest doing things like practicing abstinence, using condoms, having fewer partners, talking with your partner, and getting tested will go a long way to help keep you in good shape.

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