Wednesday April 8, 2020

USA Sees A Significant Rise Of STD Cases According to CDC

Researchers say the increases in STDs can be attributed to socioeconomic factors like poverty, stigma, discrimination, and drug use.

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This April 1, 2016 file photos shows a billboard above a gas station that reads "Feel The Burn," a play on then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' campaign slogan, "Feel The Bern." It's actually promoting testing for sexually transmitted diseases. VOA

The number of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States is hitting record highs, according to latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed in 2017, says the CDC. This is the fourth year of increases in STDs and the figures broke 2016’s record by more than 200,000 cases.

Chlamydia remained the most common condition reported to the CDC. More than 1.7 million cases were diagnosed in 2017, with 45 percent among 15- to 24-year-old females.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis often go undiagnosed and untreated, leading to conditions including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk.

“We are sliding backward,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, in a news release. “It is evident the systems that identify, treat and ultimately prevent STDs are strained to [a] near-breaking point.

“Diagnosed cases of gonorrhea increased 67 percent from 333,004 to 555,608 cases, and nearly doubled among men, from 169,130 cases to 322,169 in preliminary data for 2017. Diagnosed cases among women increased for the third year in a row from 197,499 to 232,587.

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A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. VOA

Syphilis diagnoses increased 76 percent, from 17,375 to 30,644 cases. Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men made up almost 70 percent of primary and secondary syphilis cases where the gender of the sex partner is known in 2017. Primary and secondary syphilis are the most infectious stages of the disease.

Researchers say the increases in STDs can be attributed to socioeconomic factors like poverty, stigma, discrimination, and drug use.

While most of the diseases are curable with antibiotics, gonorrhea continues to be resistant to nearly every class of antibiotics used to treat it, with the exception of ceftriaxone.

Also Read: There’s No Healthy Level for Consuming Alcohol, Lancet Study Confirms

In 2015, the drug azithromycin was added to treatment for gonorrhea to help delay resistance to ceftriaxone. New CDC findings show that emerging resistance to azithromycin is on the rise in laboratory testing.

“We expect gonorrhea will eventually wear down our last highly effective antibiotic, and additional treatment options are urgently needed,” said Gail Bolan, M.D., director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention in a press release. “We can’t let our defenses down — we must continue reinforcing efforts to rapidly detect and prevent resistance as long as possible.” (VOA)

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All You Need to Know About Parkinson’s Disease

10 early signs of Parkinson's Disease

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Parkinson's disease and related disorders is common in people above 60 years of age. Pixabay

While the focus remains on the pandemic its easy to forget that there are many other illnesses which patients are struggling with.

Parkinson’s disease and related disorders is common in people above 60 years of age. Parkinson’s disease is a disorder where most tests including MRI Brain are not very helpful in diagnosis or non-contributory (except dopamine scans). So, an understanding of its clinical symptoms and signs is as vital as a diagnosis.

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Dr. Praveen Gupta, Director & HOD, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram shares some early signs to keep a look out for.

parkinson's disease
Parkinson disease responds very well to treatment and response may last up to more than a decade, so it is very useful to diagnose it early to restore a patient’s quality of life. Pixabay

1. A pill rolling type of tremor visible in the resting position usually in one hand which improves intruding to move the hand.

2. There is change in handwriting with the writing becoming small and cramped called micrographia.

3. There is sudden quickening of steps which the patient cannot control called shuffling; it is also accompanied by difficulty in maintaining posture.

4. There is shortening of steps leading to short stepped walk and overall time to cover a small distance increases significantly.

5. There is decreased movement of arms while walking and the arm swing is reduced, a sign of slowing.

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6. There are sleep problems with increased dreaming and enacting dreams called REM Sleep Behaviour disorder.

7. There are abnormal limb movements in sleep called PLMS and current like pain in legs called restless legs syndrome.

parkinson's disease
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder where most tests including MRI Brain are not very helpful in diagnosis or non-contributory (except dopamine scans). Pixabay

8. A gradual loss of smell and difficulty detecting or identifying doors called hyposmia during conversation

9. There is a clear lack of expression on face with significant lack of emotive expressions called mask-like face.

10. There is a forward bending of posture leading to early stooping and bending forward.

These early signs are a feature of decreased dopamine in the brain which interferes with sleep and changes in motor function leading to slowness of activities (Bradykinesia medically), stiffness of muscles (rigidity), loss of posture sense and trembling. These features usually affect one side of the body initially and respond very well to levodopa replacing treatments. There may also be some mental and behaviour changes and some patients there is an unexplained loss of weight.

Also Read- Spreading COVID-19 Awareness in Bollywood Style

If the patient walks in the clinic the physician can often start diagnosing based on these early symptoms. Tests are done to rule out other disorders mimicking Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson disease responds very well to treatment and response may last up to more than a decade, so it is very useful to diagnose it early to restore a patient’s quality of life. (IANS)