Georgia’s No. 4, and unfortunately we’re not talking about pre-season college football rankings.
The Centers for Disease Control, based in Atlanta, says in a new report that Georgia ranks fourth among U.S. states and territories in syphilis infections.
Georgia also ranks seventh in gonorrhea and eighth for chlamydia, two of the more difficult to spell sexually transmitted diseases.
According to the CDC, Georgia reported 678 cases of syphilis in 2011, the most recent data available. That doesn’t sound like many people, but the rate of infection (7 per 100,000 people) in Georgia is almost twice the national average (4.5 cases per 100,000).
Who has the disease in Georgia?
The CDC study provided the following data (number of cases per 100,000):
In The Athens Banner-Herald, Lynn Beckmann, the District 10 Infectious Diseases Program Coordinator for the Department of Public Health, said Georgia historically has hovered near the No. 4 ranking.
“A lot of people hear the word syphilis and think it’s something that’s gone away, but it’s very much out there,” she said. “It’s not (a disease that’s) been wiped out.”
The District of Columbia has, by quite a large margin, the highest syphilis rate in the country, according to the study.
The 10 most infected areas:
Two states reported no cases of syphilis — South Dakota and Wyoming. North Dakota listed only one case.
Fortunately, syphilis (as well as gonorrhea and chlamydia) can be cured if caught soon enough. It’s even easier to not catch the disease — wear a condom during sex.