LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — The Southern Nevada Health District is working to address a troubling trend in Clark County: the highest rate of syphilis in the country.
According to SNHD, Clark County was first in the nation in 2017 for rates of syphilis as well as second for rates of congenital syphilis, or syphilis present at birth.
Clark County saw 24 cases of syphilis per 100,000 people and over 76 cases of congenital syphilis per 100,000 live births.
Syphilis, according to the Center for Disease Control, is a sexually transmitted infection which causes sores near the genitals or rectum as well as around the lips or in the mouth.
Untreated, the infection can spread to the brain, nervous system and even the eye.
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SNHD says that the number of cases have been steadily increasing with only nine cases in 2016, to 20 cases in 2017 and finally 24 cases of congenital syphilis in 2018.
“Congenital syphilis is entirely preventable and should never be an acceptable outcome in our community,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer of the SNHD.
SNHD’s Office of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance partnered with Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health to put together a Congenital Syphilis Academic Detailing Packet.
The packet contains resources for health care providers and patients, offering education material along with disease reporting information.
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These resources are created using current, evidence-based sources of data to help medical professionals to provide the best treatment.
Meanwhile, Clark County ranks well above the national average for number people with sexually transmitted diseases.
For chlamydia the county saw over 580 cases per 100,000 residents as well as 221 and about 20 new cases for gonorrhea and HIV respectively in 2017.
In the U.S. rates per 100,000 people for chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV were 528, 171 and 11 cases respectively.
Tuesday, April 16, is Syphilis Awareness Day.
Find more information here.