Syphilis cases have been on the rise not only in the US, but in other developed countries. In fact, cases of primary and secondary syphilis (P&S) in the United States increased, in terms of number of cases, by 10.9 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In Florida for 2013, federal health officials rank the Sunshine State fourth among 50 states reporting at least one case of P&S syphilis with 7.8 cases per 100,000 population compared to the U.S. rate of 5.5.
In terms of raw numbers, Florida reported 1,513 cases in 2013.
The rate among males was 14.6 cases per 100,000 population compared to the U.S. male rate of 10.3, while the rate among females was only slightly above the national average.
18.5 cases per 100,000 population in blacks made this racial group by far the highest in the state. Other racial/ethnic groups stood at 4.3 cases per 100,000 population among whites, 8.4 among Hispanics, 2.2 among Asians, 8.3 among Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders, and 4.0 among American Indians/Alaska Natives, according to CDC data.
This puts blacks at a rate 4.4 times that of whites.
In addition, Florida reported 37 cases of congenital syphilis in 2013 and were ranked 5th among among 25 states reporting at least one case of congenital syphilis with a rate of 17.2 cases per 100,000 live births compared to the U.S. rate of 8.7.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can cause long-term complications if not treated correctly. Symptoms in adults are divided into stages. These stages are primary, secondary, latent, and late syphilis. Syphilis is transmitted via direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Sores can be found on the penis, vagina, anus, in the rectum, or on the lips and in the mouth. Syphilis can also be spread from an infected mother to her unborn baby (congenital syphilis).