Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) reported 16 additional syphilis cases the week ending December 25, bringing the total cases to 792 with one week left to report. This total already towers above the 600 cases reported in all of 2020 by more than 30 percent.
The bulk of the cases were reported in the HSE East area of Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow with 630, also up from 2020 when the area saw 474.
The HSE South area of Kerry & Cork has seen the second most cases this year to date with 52.
A national outbreak was declared and has been under investigation in Ireland since June 2021.
Syphilis is easily treated but highly infectious, and many people with the condition often don’t develop symptoms.
HSE Ireland says that if left untreated, syphilis can cause “serious health problems” to the heart, brain, eyes and nervous system that could take years to develop. It can also pass from pregnant women to their child, potentially causing serious harm.
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