According to the Minnesota Department of Health, syphilis cases were found to be on the rise in Minnesota for 2021. The sharp increase in cases has healthcare workers concerned which seems to be following a national trend. They are hoping that people will get tested regularly and get treated quickly to slow down the progression of the disease.

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What is even more disturbing with this latest finding is that they specifically stated a "special concern" regarding the Syphilis Outbreak in Duluth and also a sustained increase in Cass and Beltrami counties.

Christine Jones, STD, HIV, and TB section manager stated: " What we do know is that the rates of syphilis are troubling, especially the rise in congenital syphilis (CS), or when a pregnant person passes syphilis to an infant. In 2021, cases of CS in Minnesota increased by 115%, up to 15 cases. “CS can cause low birth weight, harm, or death to an infant if not treated. It is preventable when it’s caught early. We are encouraging people to get tested regularly for STDs, especially if they are pregnant."

If left untreated syphilis can cause blindness, dementia, or even death. Preventing syphilis in the first place is the best-case scenario with education, antibiotic treatment and testing and consistently using condoms. It is also important that people test themselves regularly and inform their sexual partners so they can get tested and treated if need be. Contact your local health provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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