Pharmacy News

Dr Marie Sartain
/ Categories: APhA News

Why are cases of syphilis soaring?

CDC stated that the United States is seeing the highest incidence of syphilis since 1950. In its new report, the agency maps out an astonishing comeback for a disease that had previously reached near-eradication status.

The most recent count puts the number of diagnosed new infections at more than 207,000 in 2022—a staggering 80% increase from 2018. Experts point to multiple drivers behind the trend, including a rise in substance use, which is associated with risky sexual behavior, and a dearth of sexual health clinics.

The epidemic is also affecting every age group, including newborn babies, and is having an especially pronounced impact on Black Americans and people of Native American/Alaskan Native heritage.

Without proper care, the virus can damage organs; lead to loss of eyesight and hearing; cause paralysis; and result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or developmental delays in babies.

The Biden administration has unfurled initiatives designed to address the high rate of infection, including formation of a national task force, temporary importation, an alternative syphilis intervention because Bicillin L-A is in short supply in the United States, and ongoing development of a simple test for use in clinics.

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