Syphilis, other STDs on the rise in Missouri

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The number of cases of syphilis and other STDs is skyrocketing across the country. And that includes right here in Missouri.

These increases are being seen not only in metro areas, but in rural areas as well.

Kendra Findley, Administrator of Community Health and Epidemiology with the Springfield Greene County Health Department says part of the problem is how easy it is for people to hook up, using apps designed just for that.

Also, people don't understand how quickly it can become a major issue.

"Understanding that it is easy to spread diseases from person to person," said Findley. "If you're having sex with somebody, you can be exposed to a disease. Period. It's that simple. Whether or not you're in a committed relationship or not, if you're having sex, you can be exposed and you really need to know what your status is."

This applies to women who are pregnant as well, who can unknowingly pass the disease on to their child. The CDC says this can be avoided fairly easily.

"They recommend that women who are pregnant, that they get tested at least one time during their pregnancy, just to make sure they are not positive for syphilis," said Findley. "Syphilis is curable. I mean, with an antibiotic, so, wanna protect those babies before they're born."

If you're sexually active, you'll want to take precautions to protect yourself from STD's.

And if you feel you may have one, to get tested as soon as possible.

The Springfield Greene County Health Department has a walk-in clinic that provides free testing for STDs.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.