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U.S. News

Illinois: Syphilis Cases on the Rise

October 28, 2005

The number of syphilis cases in Chicago more than doubled from 2004 and 2005, prompting health officials to look for ways to reduce new infections. Men who have sex with men (MSM) make up more than 70 percent of cases. Diagnoses among Latino MSM have increased 300 percent, from 7 to 21 primary and secondary cases through Oct 1.

On Oct. 18, the Syphilis Elimination Task Force (SETF) met to discuss the problem. At the meeting, maps were displayed showing the distribution of early cases of the disease by ZIP code. Laurie Anderson, syphilis elimination coordinator for the Chicago Department of Public Health, said looking at the disbursement of cases by ZIP code gives health officials a better picture of the infection rate. The 60640 area of Lake View showed the greatest number of cases, 54, through Oct. 17, while the North Side ZIP codes of 60626, 60660, 60640, 60613 and 60657 all reported more than 20 cases each.

In 2001, Chicago ranked number-one in the United States for syphilis. "At the rate we are going, we are going to surpass 2001," said Anderson. "Rates have been creeping up over the past several months."

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Syphilis cases dropped in 2003, the same year SETF launched a two-month media campaign.

Back to other news for October 28, 2005

Adapted from:
Windy City Times (Chicago)
10.26.2005; Amy Wooten


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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