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Cases Of Syphilis Have Increased By 128 Percent In Harris County

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Cases Of Syphilis Have Increased By 128 Percent In Harris County

(CTN News) – A new outbreak of syphilis has been detected in Houston and Harris County, according to health officials warning of a new outbreak.

It has been reported that the number of positive tests for the disease among women has increased by 128 percent, and that the number of new infections has increased by 57 percent, resulting in a rapid response being launched on Thursday.

There has been a rise of 57 percent in the number of new infections reported by local clinics from 1,845 in 2019 to 2,905 in 2022.

As a result, the number of new infections among women increased even more from 295 cases in 2019 to 674 cases in 2022.

There have also been an increase in the number of cases of congenital syphilis by nine-fold, from 16 cases in 2016 to 151 cases in 2021, the most recent year for which data is available.

It is reported that the Houston Health Department has announced a rapid response that will include waiving all clinical fees related to STD infections at all city clinics and sending HIV/STD mobile buses to infection hotspots as a part of its rapid response.

Furthermore, the department will work with medical providers in order to increase screenings for STDs and to educate the residents as well as increase testing.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that is characterized by a fever, swelling of the lymph glands, sore throat, patches of hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue.

If a sexually active individual has direct contact with a syphilis sore, they are at risk of contracting syphilis.

In addition, the department warns that syphilis is often undetected due to the symptoms being misinterpreted or unnoticed due to the lack of visible signs related to the disease.

There is no cure for the disease, but it can be easily treated with antibiotics.

It is important to note that if the infection is left untreated, it can progress and cause red and non-itchy rashes to develop on your hands and feet.

It is possible that as a result of the infection, the internal organs will eventually be damaged, including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints if there is no treatment.

The Health Department recommends pregnant women get tested for syphilis regularly, as well as those who have unprotected sex, men who have anonymous sex partners, individuals with multiple partners, as well as individuals who have recently been diagnosed with an STD such as HIV, chlamydia, or gonorrhea.

As a deputy assistant director for the Bureau of HIV/STI and Viral Hepatitis Prevention at the Department of Health and Human Services, Marlene McNeese Ward said, “It is imperative for pregnant women to receive prenatal care and receive syphilis testing to protect themselves from an infection that could cause the death of their unborn children.”

A pregnant woman is required to have her syphilis tested three times during her pregnancy, according to Ward.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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