Brits Link Syphilis Surge to Facebook Facebook rep urges 'precautions' By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff Posted Mar 24, 2010 3:39 AM CDT 1 comment Comments British health authorities complain that Facebook in increasing the number of casual sexual encounters and syphilis cases. (Getty Images) (Newser) – British health officials are linking a troubling surge in cases of syphilis to the large number of casual sexual encounters triggered by Facebook meetings. Syphilis cases have increased the most in regions with the highest use of Facebook, officials tell the Telegraph. "There has been a fourfold increase in the number of syphilis cases, with more young women being affected," said a local public health chief. "Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet for casual sex," he added. A Facebook spokesman urged people to take "precautions" and be careful when meeting up with someone they first encounter online.