According to the California Department of Health, more than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis were reported in the state in 2017. Overall, the transmission rate of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis has spiked by a staggering 45 percent over the past five years.
Some of those cases had tragic endings: 30 of the 278 babies affected by congenital syphilis in 2017 were stillborn, the highest number in 22 years. Congenital syphilis occurs when syphilis passes from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby. According to the CDC, up to 40 percent of babies born to women with untreated syphilis may be stillborn or die from the infection as a newborn.
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