November 23rd, 2017

Sexually transmitted diseases high: Alberta increases tests for pregnant women

By The Canadian Press on November 14, 2017.

EDMONTON – The Alberta government is increasing tests available for pregnant women in light of a continued outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, deputy child medical health officer, says there’s concern that syphilis and gonorrhea rates continue to be high in the province.

She says six cases of congenital syphilis, meaning the infection has been passed to newborns, have been reported the province so far this year.

Alberta is recommending chlamydia and gonorrhea testing for all pregnant women in the first trimester, then repeat testing in the third trimester for those at high risk of a sexually transmitted disease.

All women are already tested for syphilis early in their pregnancies and again before delivery.

Hinshaw says the province is trying to raise awareness about the importance of safe sex and regular testing.

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