Health researchers have warned that syphilis is making a comeback, and doctors may not be recognizing the symptoms. Developed countries came closing to wiping out the disease in the '90s, Reuters reports, but infection rates in the US went up last year for the seventh year in a row. A study published in the journal Lancet urges authorities to move fast to educate the public—and doctors—about the disease.
The researchers found very high incidences of syphilis infection among gay and bisexual men engaged in risky sexual behavior. But they emphasized that, as with previous STD epidemics, infections among that subgroup quickly become more widespread. They call for better screening, more publicity, and efforts to change behavior among the groups most at risk from syphilis, which infected 12 million people last year.