A new health report shows that Syphilis cases are on the rise across America.

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For Michigan, there were 972 reported cases of primary and secondary syphilis in 2022.

Those numbers haven't been this high in 70 years.

Michigan Is Seeing An Uptick In Syphilis Cases

Syphilis on the rise in Michigan
Credit: Canva

What Is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.

Different Stages of Syphilis

Syphilis develops in stages: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary, with each stage having different signs and symptoms.

Primary Stage: In the primary stage, a painless sore or open, wet ulcer, known as a chancre, may appear at the site where the bacteria entered the body, such as the genitals, anus, or mouth.

Secondary Stage: During the secondary stage, symptoms may include a skin rash, mucous membrane lesions, and flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue.

Latent Stage: The latent stage of syphilis is a period when there are no visible signs or symptoms of the disease. Without treatment, syphilis can remain in the body for years

Tertiary Stage: Tertiary syphilis is very serious and can lead to damage to internal organs and, in some cases, death. It typically occurs 10-30 years after the initial infection and is diagnosed through specific blood tests. Unlike the earlier stages, tertiary syphilis is not contagious.

How Can You Prevent Getting Syphilis?

A Syphilis infection can be prevented by practicing safe sex, which includes using condoms and being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who does not have syphilis.

Man holding condom in bed
Credit: Canva

Does Syphilis Go Away On Its Own?

Syphilis can be effectively treated with antibiotics, particularly penicillin.

penicillin pills in a bottle
Credit: Canva

If left untreated, it can cause complications such as arthritis, brain damage, and blindness.

Other STDs In Michigan

  • Gonorrhea: Ranks No. 26 with 163.2 cases per 100,000 people
  • Chlamydia: Ranks No. 33 with 428.3 cases per 100,000 people
  • Congenital syphilis: Ranks No. 36 with 34.3 cases per 100,000 people

You can read more about the report from Patch.com by clicking here

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