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Jackson County Health Department sees a 75% rise in syphilis cases

The Jackson County Health Department is seeing an alarming increase in syphilis cases.

There’s been an increase in syphilis cases of more than 75% compared to cases before the pandemic.

The rise is attributed to people having unprotected sex, drug use leading to risky behaviors and having multiple partners.

Division Director of HIV and STD’s Paula Clark says people can mistake the first signs of infection that can look like a wart or open sore

“What happens is those disappear after about five or six weeks and so people just think, Oh, I just had some kind of a allergic rash or something, they don't think they don't. They just confuse them with something else and then they don't think, you know, and they don't realize that they have it and they can continue to pass it.”

The majority of the cases are from men who have sex with men, pre-menopausal women and congenital cases at birth.

Benjy Jeffords is a digital media production specialist at WSIU Public Broadcasting located at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org
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