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Jackson Co. warns of increase in syphilis cases

(Colin Baillie)
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 4:22 PM CST
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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) - The Jackson County Health Department reported seeing an alarming increase in syphilis cases, with a more than 75% increase in pre-pandemic cases.

According to the health department, many other Illinois counties are seeing similar trends.

They also say that in the last decade, there has been a resurgence in syphilis cases in the US despite the availability of effective treatments and previously reliable prevention methods.

The majority of cases are among the population of men who have sex with men; however, the department says there has also been a recent increase among premenopausal women.

Although syphilis was thought to be nearly eradicated, the recent surge is alarming to health officials.

Untreated syphilis can lad to health-related consequences such as:

  • Hearing loss
  • Blindness
  • Neurological complications
  • Risk of contracting other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as HIV

Preventative actions recommended by the health department include:

  • Requesting STD tests from physicians
  • Reducing the amount of sexual partners
  • Using protection, such as condoms

Jackson Co. Health Department offers services to reduce the risk of syphilis and HIV.

Services include:

  • No-cost PrEP services
  • Low-cost sexual health clinic
  • Assistance in navigating HIV medication

To find out more, or seek help from a professional, the Jackson County Health Department can be reached at (618) 684-3143, ext. 155.

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