A blood sample positive with syphilis

Syphilis cases are spiking in Marion County, with a 216% increase from 2018 to 2022, Marion County Health and Human Services data shows.

The rise in cases is widespread, according to the health department. It said there was no clear reason for the spike. Officials are encouraging anyone age 45 and younger who has been sexually active to get tested.

“Syphilis rates are rising among men, women and newborns. Fortunately, syphilis remains 100% preventable and treatable when affected community members have access to healthcare,” Marion County public health officer Dr. Caroline Castillo said.

Syphilis spreads through person-to-person sexual contact, mainly through direct contact with a syphilitic sore, which may not always be easy to see. Some people can have syphilis without even knowing it.

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