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Syphilis Cases Rise In Kentucky

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Taber Andrew Bain
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Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Kentucky is seeing a rapid increase in the number of syphilis infections, mirroring a national trend. 

Public health officials are seeking expanded education and treatment for the sexually transmitted disease. Kentucky’s number of syphilis cases has doubled since 2009, to just over 10 cases per 100-thousand residents.

The Courier-Journal reports the figures from the state Department for Public Health also show Louisville is home to nearly half of the state’s cases.

Kentucky state epidemiologist Kraig Humbaugh says most of the recent national increase in syphilis cases effect men—especially men who have sex with other men.

Syphilis is a bacterial disease with symptoms such as sores, headaches, and fevers.

It can be treated with antibiotics, but—if left untreated—could lead to blindness or stroke in later stages. It can also be passed from a mother to a fetus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling for increased public education efforts concerning safe sex, and greater promotion of syphilis awareness and screenings.

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