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ADPH: Increase in babies contracting syphilis from mothers, prenatal HIV cases

In 2019, Alabama ranked 11th in the nation when it comes to HIV cases.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — While we've worked to keep COVID cases down, doctors say STD cases are up.

The Alabama Department of Public Health says there's an increase nationwide and in the state. Health officials say it's specifically with babies who contracted syphilis from their mothers.

They see an increase in pre-natal HIV cases also. Doctors believe this can be prevented if pregnant women get screened early.

"Mothers who are infected with HIV, if they receive antiretroviral therapy, during pregnancy - essentially you're going to stop that baby from contracting HIV, and the same situation for Syphilis," says ADPH Assistant State Health Officer, Dr. Karen Landers.

For resources, click here.

The CDC also says reported STDs reach "all time high for 6th consecutive year.

More than 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea & syphilis reported in 2019.

The CDC says "Before the COVID-19 pandemic, reductions in STD screening, treatment, prevention, and partner services contributed to STD increases for many years."

CDC also adds "Since the pandemic began, large numbers of STD program staff at the state and local level have been deployed to the COVID-19 response, which can lead to more delays in services."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a plethora of information on how to protect yourself and other from the coronavirus.  

The virus can easily spread from person to person, so the CDC recommends you stay at least 6-feet apart from people not in your household. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breaths or talks, according to the CDC. Because of this, the CDC recommends you wear a cloth facemask when around others and in public. 

Additionally, the CDC recommends that you frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

Symptoms to look out for include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC. 

Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the CDC. 

If you suspect you have the coronavirus, you should seek out testing and self-quarantine. 

Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the Alabama Department of Public Health.