Syphilis Makes A Comeback

Armen Hareyan's picture
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"Doctors were warned of an alarming rise in syphilis in the UK", The Sun reports today.

The Independent also covered the story, saying that specialists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US have said that cases of the disease are soaring in high-income countries. It adds that the number of cases in the UK jumped from 307 in 1997 to 3,702 in 2006, "an increase of 1,200 per cent".

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The Times reports that, despite being nearly wiped out in the developed world a decade ago, the disease has had a resurgence, "in part driven by increases in cases among men who have sex with men [and] more recent increases among heterosexual people". Most of the newspapers report that the specialists have warned that doctors now lack experience of syphilis and need training to deal with the disease.

The stories are based on a review in which the authors carried out a comprehensive overview of the published literature on the transmission and rates of syphilis in Western Europe and the USA between 2000 and 2007. The authors discuss various explanations for changing rates of the disease and give an expert opinion on the current standards in diagnosis and treatment.

The journal that this paper was published in is prestigious and the experience and knowledge and of the authors is clear; this suggests that this is a reliable review and that cases of infectious syphilis are increasing.

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