Number of syphilis cases on the rise in Indiana

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A blood sample with syphilis (Treponema Pallidum bacteria) positive

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The number of syphilis cases is on the rise in Indiana. As a result, state health officials are urging health care providers to educate patients about the risks of the disease.

Syphilis is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during unprotected sex. Pregnant women who are infected can transmit it to their unborn babies.

Health officials say it is important to be aggressive about testing and treatment.

“Indiana experienced a 70 percent increase in syphilis cases between 2014 and 2015,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams. “We are continuing to see an increase this year and we are working closely with local health officials and healthcare providers to make sure patients are getting tested and receive treatment.”

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.

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