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U.S. News

Michigan: Kalamazoo County Notifies Health Providers to Watch for Syphilis

May 11, 2011

Kalamazoo County health officials are asking area health care providers to help curb syphilis infections, which have been rising locally and statewide. While county incidence is still low compared with other STDs, primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses have increased every year since 2008. Kalamazoo County saw seven cases last year, the highest since 2001.


"I would say we are pretty close to what our total count for 2010 was," said Michelle Thorne, clinical services director for the county Health and Community Services Department (KCHCS). Last month, the department sent an advisory to hospitals, physicians, clinics, and regional health departments.

KCHCS said it is working with the state Department of Community Health on contact tracing, testing, and treatment efforts. The advisory notes high-risk groups associated with the primary syphilis cases include individuals with multiple sex partners; men who have sex with men; MSM co-infected with HIV; and individuals who trade sex for drugs and money.

The state's largest outbreak, in Genesee County in 2008, was mostly among heterosexuals. The 2009 uptick in Ingham and Kent counties and in Oakland County last year were mostly among MSM, including many co-infected with HIV.

Back to other news for May 2011

Adapted from:
Michigan Messenger
05.06.2011; Todd A. Heywood

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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.
See Also
Syphilis -- a Dreadful Disease on the Move
Syphilis Fact Sheet
Basic Questions and Answers About Syphilis and Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM)
More News and Research on Syphilis in Midwestern U.S. States

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