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Medical News

United Kingdom: Management of a Syphilis Outbreak in Street Sex Workers in East London

February 16, 2007

Authors in the current study sought to describe the control and management of an outbreak of syphilis among female street sex workers (SSWs) in east London.

After the identification of several cases of infectious syphilis in SSWs in east London, a targeted service for screening and treating syphilis and others STDs was developed. A multidisciplinary team (MDT) worked with an existing outreach service to facilitate this. Once it was determined that this was not an isolated case, an outbreak control team (OCT) was mobilized.

From April to December 2004, 14 women (58 percent) with 15 cases of infectious syphilis were identified among 24 SSWs. Of these, 14 of the 15 (93 percent) received treatment. At the initial visit, epidemiological syphilis treatment was also given to the rest of the SSWs. Several coexistent STDs were found in this cohort. As part of the enhanced outbreak surveillance in north east London, 21 infectious syphilis cases were reported in SSWs between April 2004 and December 2005.

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"Outbreak management in this population was challenging: an MDT approach was crucial in identifying and treating syphilis to prevent onward transmission," the authors concluded. "There was a high prevalence of syphilis and other [STDs] in this cohort, and we treated the majority of cases. The formation of an OCT enabled us to monitor the outbreak and implement control measures more effectively. The novel intervention we describe has proved valuable in helping to control this syphilis outbreak."

Back to other news for February 16, 2007

Adapted from:
Sexually Transmitted Infections
12.06; Vol. 82: P. 437-438; N. Lomax; H. Wheeler; S. Anaraki; H. Anderson; B. Goh


  
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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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