Syphilis News and Research

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Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It has often been called “the great imitator” because so many of the signs and symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other diseases.

In the United States, health officials reported over 36,000 cases of syphilis in 2006, including 9,756 cases of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis. In 2006, half of all P&S syphilis cases were reported from 20 counties and 2 cities; and most P&S syphilis cases occurred in persons 20 to 39 years of age. The incidence of P&S syphilis was highest in women 20 to 24 years of age and in men 35 to 39 years of age. Reported cases of congenital syphilis in newborns increased from 2005 to 2006, with 339 new cases reported in 2005 compared to 349 cases in 2006.

Between 2005 and 2006, the number of reported P&S syphilis cases increased 11.8 percent. P&S rates have increased in males each year between 2000 and 2006 from 2.6 to 5.7 and among females between 2004 and 2006. In 2006, 64% of the reported P&S syphilis cases were among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Syphilis is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies they are carrying. Syphilis cannot be spread through contact with toilet seats, doorknobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils.
CDC scientists partner with Massachusetts Department of Public Health to investigate a monkeypox case

CDC scientists partner with Massachusetts Department of Public Health to investigate a monkeypox case

Improving Patient Recruitment for Clinical Trial Research

Improving Patient Recruitment for Clinical Trial Research

New report provides clear picture of COVID-19's impact on the U.S. STD epidemic

New report provides clear picture of COVID-19's impact on the U.S. STD epidemic

CDC report shows a continual surge in sexually transmitted diseases in US in 2020

CDC report shows a continual surge in sexually transmitted diseases in US in 2020

Babies die as congenital syphilis continues a decade-long surge across the US

Babies die as congenital syphilis continues a decade-long surge across the US

Overview of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia cases in non-EU/EEA countries of the WHO's European Region

Overview of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia cases in non-EU/EEA countries of the WHO's European Region

The emergence of infectious diseases from the "germ’s eye view”

The emergence of infectious diseases from the "germ’s eye view”

Comprehensive genomic study maps the global resurgence of syphilis

Comprehensive genomic study maps the global resurgence of syphilis

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Compromise is coming — maybe

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Compromise is coming — maybe

Labs with no one to run them: Why public health workers are fleeing the field

Labs with no one to run them: Why public health workers are fleeing the field

Hepatitis B in newborns is a public health issue in the Pacific islands

Hepatitis B in newborns is a public health issue in the Pacific islands

Weill Cornell Medicine launches ambitious community vaccination and education efforts

Weill Cornell Medicine launches ambitious community vaccination and education efforts

Researchers explore how to optimally control diseases in prison population using rapid tests

Researchers explore how to optimally control diseases in prison population using rapid tests

Unprecedented lobbying effort scores big win for California public health

Unprecedented lobbying effort scores big win for California public health

Without enough boots on the ground, California’s vaccination efforts falter

Without enough boots on the ground, California’s vaccination efforts falter

Deep learning could transform the ability to accurately interpret HIV test results

Deep learning could transform the ability to accurately interpret HIV test results

Trying to avoid racist health care, Black women seek out Black obstetricians

Trying to avoid racist health care, Black women seek out Black obstetricians

New resolution urges Member States to focus on prevention and management of  diabetes, obesity

New resolution urges Member States to focus on prevention and management of diabetes, obesity

Minorities substantially underrepresented in pancreatic cancer clinical trials

Minorities substantially underrepresented in pancreatic cancer clinical trials

Johns Hopkins expert addresses the impact of pandemic on surgical innovation pipeline and ecosystem

Johns Hopkins expert addresses the impact of pandemic on surgical innovation pipeline and ecosystem