Great News: Wyoming Ranks 48th In Nation For Syphilis, 47th For Gonorrhea

In the world of STDs, Wyoming is scoring well -- coming in 48th for syphilis, 47th for gonorrhea, and 45th in chlamydia. Wyomingites may not want to travel to South Dakota any time soon as it's ranked number one in the nation for syphilis.

CM
Clair McFarland

February 02, 20244 min read

Wyoming has gonorrhea 1 20 23

Wyoming is recording a rise in confirmed cases of syphilis, even as it remains the third-least-infected among all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

In presenting its most recent data this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the national rise in syphilis cases is “alarming” and called for swift treatment interventions.

Nationally, there were more than 2.5 million cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia reported in the United States in 2022.

Gonorrhea cases dropped by about 60,000 cases between 2021 and 2022, while chlamydia, syphilis and congenital (in-utero) syphilis reports all increased. Syphilis cases jumped from 173,858 in 2021 to 203,500 in 2022.  

Overall, and thanks to the gonorrhea decrease, reported sexually transmitted cases dropped by about 26,000 between 2021 and 2022.

Careful, Wyoming

The Wyoming Department of Health marked the syphilis increase with concern in October, announcing a 54% increase from 42 to 66 cases between 2018 and 2022.

The infection can be cured with specific antibiotics, Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and epidemiologist, said in a statement at the time.

“But, unfortunately, untreated syphilis can sometimes cause major health issues, including death in both patients and unborn children,” she said, adding that up to 40% of babies born to mothers with untreated syphilis may be stillborn or die as newborns.

Wyoming has not had reports of syphilis infant deaths in recent years, Harrist added. But nationally, the disease caused 220 stillbirths and infant deaths between 2020 and 2021, the statement says.

Syphilis-caused sores also make it easier to transmit and acquire HIV.

On the other hand, “most people have no symptoms,” said Leslie Fowler, WDH Communicable Disease Prevention Program manager. Fowler encouraged people to get tested.

Watch Out For South Dakota And D.C.

South Dakota ranked most-infected for syphilis (including congenital syphilis) in 2022, with 214 cases per 100,000 people and 1,947 cases overall.

Washington, D.C., came in second at 189.8 cases per 100,000 people and 1,275 cases overall.

Wyoming, meanwhile, was the third-least-infected state for syphilis with 66 cases and 11.4 per 100,000 people, bested only by Maine and Vermont. The state has not yet tallied its data for 2023, WDH spokeswoman Kim Deti told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday.

All states, plus Washington D.C., ranked as follows in 2022 syphilis cases per 100,000 people:

  • South Dakota, 214

  • Washington D.C., 189.8

  • New Mexico, 116.8

  • Nevada, 113.6

  • Mississippi 110.9

  • Arizona 101.9

  • Louisiana 91

  • Arkansas 92.5

  • Texas 89.9

  • Oklahoma 87.1

  • California 85.4

  • Florida 84.7

  • New York 69.5

  • Missouri 67.6

  • Georgia 67.5

  • North Carolina 61.6

  • Alabama 60.9

  • Alaska 57.8

  • Washington 56.6

  • Oregon 56.4

  • Montana 56

  • Tennessee 54.9

  • Colorado 53.1

  • Rhode Island 47.2

  • South Carolina 46.8

  • Illinois 45.6

  • Maryland 45.4

  • Ohio 45.1

  • Kentucky 45

  • Delaware 42.7

  • Hawaii 42.1

  • New Jersey 39

  • Massachusetts 35

  • Pennsylvania 34.6

  • West Virginia 34.4

  • Virginia 34.1

  • Nebraska 33.2

  • Kansas 32.6

  • Wisconsin 32.6

  • Minnesota 32.2

  • Indiana 31.2

  • Michigan 28.1

  • Iowa 27.7

  • Connecticut 21

  • Utah 19.9

  • Idaho 18.1

  • North Dakota 16.4

  • New Hampshire 12.5

  • Wyoming 11.4

  • Maine 11.1

  • Vermont 0.8

Wyoming Among The Best For These Too

Wyoming was the fourth-least-infected with gonorrhea in 2022, with 310 cases total and 53.3 cases per 100,000 people.

Vermont was the healthiest in this area once again, with 26.9 cases per 100,000 people, followed by Maine (44.8) and New Hampshire (47.4).

The U.S. average was 194.4 cases per 100,000 people.

Washington, D.C., had the highest infection rate at 733.1 cases per 100,000.

Second-worst Mississippi had half as many, at 371.9 per 100,000, with South Dakota (337.1), Louisiana (327.1), Alaska (314.1), Georgia (288.2), South Carolina (271.7), Alabama (261.7), North Carolina (249.7) and Missouri (246.2) rounding out the rest of the most-infected 10 states/regions.

Chlamydia

Wyoming was the sixth-least-infected for chlamydia in 2022, with 1,793 cases total and 308.4 per 100,000 people.

Vermont was healthiest here also, with 198 cases per 100,000 people, followed by New Hampshire (202.8), Maine (225.8), West Virginia (250.7) and Idaho (308.2).

The U.S. average was 495 cases per 100,000 people.

Washington, D.C., did the poorest again, at 1,211.8 cases per 100,000 people.

The worst states/territories after that were Louisiana (788.6), Mississippi (781.2), Alaska (727.7), South Carolina (672.5), Georgia (665.8), Alabama (612.1), North Carolina (603.1), the U.S. Virgin Islands (593.9), and Arkansas (588.3).

Testing

WDH recommends getting tested or abstaining from sexual contact, asking potential sexual partners if they’ve been tested, consistent and correct condom use, limiting the number of sexual partners and routine testing for sexually transmitted infections and HIV. The agency referred people to a Wyoming-centered informational website.

Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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CM

Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter