SYPHILIS CASES ON THE RISE Healthcare Providers Urged to Educate and Test Patients

State health officials are urging healthcare providers to educate patients about their risks of syphilis and to be aggressive about testing and treatment following a sharp increase in the number of infectious syphilis cases being reported across the state. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that is spread by direct, skin to skin contact during unprotected sex. Pregnant women who are infected can transmit it to their unborn babies. In 2014, Indiana reported 168 cases of primary and secondary syphilis and 129 cases of early latent syphilis. In 2015, Indiana reported 285 cases of primary and secondary and 220 cases of early latent syphilis.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. is seeing similar increases nationally. Indiana law requires physicians to test all women for syphilis when they become pregnant and to retest those at high risk for infection in the last trimester. All cases of syphilis must be reported to the local STD district office within 72 hours of diagnosis under Indiana’s Communicable Disease Reporting Rule, 410 IAC 1-2.5.

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