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The bacterium responsible for gonorrhea visible in a urine sample. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

There were over 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and early-stage syphilis detected in California during 2017 — a 45% jump from 2012 and the highest levels since 1990, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

What's happening: Lower rates of condom usage and fewer STD clinics are driving the increase. But a new factor is social media, James Watt, of California Health Department, tells the Chronicle.

“It makes it easier for people to meet people they don’t already know to have sex ... The internet allows for a broadening of sexual networks, and the broader that gets the more opportunity you have for sexually transmitted diseases to spread.”
— James Watt tells the Chronicle

The details, per the Chronicle:

  • The concern: "We’ve been seeing increases for all three diseases for the last five or six years. It’s concerning because that slope, that uptick, doesn’t seem to be coming down. In fact, it seems to be getting steeper," says Watt, who is chief of the department's division of communicable disease control.
  • Racial breakdown: African Americans were five times more likely than whites to contract chlamydia and gonorrhea and twice as likely to contract syphilis.
  • Important differences: Rates of chlamydia were 60% higher among women compared to men, and 54% of the overall STD cases were for people under 25. Watt attributes the higher numbers among women to a national push for more women to get STD testing.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

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