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News

Syphilis, Gonorrhea on the Rise in Oregon

June 6, 2014

This article was reported by Statesman Journal.

The Statesman Journal reported that Oregon's syphilis and gonorrhea rates have increased dramatically in recent years. Syphilis prevalence recently tied high numbers from more than two decades ago and is now twice the national average. Gonorrhea rates saw a sharp 18-percent increase between 2012 and 2013. Dr. Sean Schafer, a medical epidemiologist with the Oregon Health Authority, thinks the numbers are distressing. "We haven't seen numbers like this since the late ‘80s, early 1990s. And this year is looking like another bad year," he said.

When syphilis is in its early stage of infection, it is the most contagious. The first symptoms of syphilis, a sore then a rash, often go undetected and a person can transmit the disease easily to another person. There was nearly a 25-percent increase of early syphilis cases between 2012 and 2013, from 312 to 404. This year has already seen two cases of congenital syphilis in infants, causing one death.

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See Also
Syphilis -- a Dreadful Disease on the Move
Syphilis Fact Sheet
More Statistics on Syphilis in Western U.S. States
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