Syphilis Skyrocketing in Orange County
The Orange County Health Department (OCHD) said Wednesday that the number of cases of syphilis infections have been increasing in Orange County. Some 198 cases of infectious and early latent Syphilis have been reported so far this year, a nearly 23 percent increase during the same time period last year when there were 175 reported cases.
OCHD, along with the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of STD Prevention and Control, will launch a comprehensive syphilis education and outreach campaign, including public service announcements on billboards, this week.
Syphilis is spread by intimate contact with an infected partner and if left untreated, can lead to severe disease and even death.
“The best way to prevent syphilis is not to have sex with an infected partner. Therefore, it is important to know your partner’s syphilis status,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Orange County Health Department.
Syphilis can be cured in its early stages. A single intramuscular injection of penicillin, an antibiotic, will cure a person who has had syphilis for less than a year. Additional doses are needed to treat someone who has had syphilis for longer than a year.