There are stats a city wants, then there are stats a city DOESN'T want. Right now, Amarillo is falling into a category of stats that nobody wants to be associated with. The worst part about it? It's completely avoidable if you're just smart about it.

One thing I've heard Amarillo get a bad rap for is how dirty the city is. I'm talking from a standpoint of dirt, trash, etc. I mean, that's inevitable because of the amount of wind we get, but the wind didn't blow in this kind of dirt.

A recent report shows that STDs are on the rise in Amarillo, namely syphilis.

It seems that we are a bit cavalier about STDs these days. There are medications and antibiotics now that can take care of pretty much every STD out there. That wasn't the case 20-30 years ago. With the introduction of the medications though, people don't view it as a huge deal if they contract one.

Well, I'm here to tell you it is, and it's affecting your children.

A lot of times, STD cases go unreported or checked on. Sometimes the symptoms never present themselves, and sometimes it gets brushed off as temporary. The problem with this? Some of those STDs are getting passed down to babies that are being born, and it can affect their lives in ways you never would've thought of.

So what kind of problems can these babies end up having if YOUR syphilis goes undetected or not cared for? Well, according to the CDC:

“At birth, a baby with a syphilis infection may not have signs or symptoms of disease. However, if the baby does not receive treatment right away, the baby may develop serious problems within a few weeks. These babies can have health problems, such as cataracts, deafness, or seizures, and can die.”

How's that for making you think twice about getting checked for STDs? Imagine how devastated you would be if you found out a major health issue your newborn has is directly related to you, either for not paying attention or for being a bit too cavalier.

According to the study, Potter County is one of the worst when it comes to reported STD cases, with over 1,000 cases being reported. It's one of the highest counties in the state per capita according to this map from Texas Health Data, and that's a bigger problem than most of the issues we deal with in Amarillo.

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