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

2 hours ago - Health

Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths in 2020

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" that the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. will be "definitely" somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 by the end of 2020.

Why it matters: "Whether we're closer to 200,000 or closer to 300,000 depends on what we do now and how it evolves," Gottlieb warned on Sunday as the U.S. surpassed five million confirmed coronavirus cases.

Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted on "Fox News Sunday" that President Trump's executive orders on coronavirus aid were cleared by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, and said that Democrats are going to "have a lot of explaining to do" if they choose to challenge them in court.

Why it matters: Democrats and even some Republicans have criticized Trump's decision to circumvent Congress to extend unemployment benefits as executive overreach, given that the Constitution gives Congress power to appropriate spending.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 19,680,042 — Total deaths: 727,777 — Total recoveries — 11,962,565Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,002,523 — Total deaths: 162,455 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Nancy Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on employment — Trump adviser Larry Kudlow says he regrets suggesting the benefits could only be extended by Congress.
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — Poll: 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Schools: Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral — How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.