Scientists Warn Doctors of Syphilis Comeback

Cases are on the rise, doctors not spotting the symptoms
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2008 4:14 AM CDT
Syphilis was a major public health problem in the past but authorities managed to cut infection rates significantly in the 90s. The disease is now making a comeback.    ((c)
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(Newser) – 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.