By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
According to data from Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), cases of the vaccine preventable diseases–measles and rubella–are way down during the first half of 2020.
To date, Japan has reported 12 measles cases, down from hundreds of cases in 2019, while only 77 rubella cases have been reported year-to-date, down from more than 2,000 last year.
However, syphilis cases are something of a different story. After reporting more than 5,000 syphilis cases three years straight and two consecutive years with more than 6,000 cases–Prior to 2018, the last time Japan saw more than 6,000 syphilis cases was 48 years ago.
NIID data through June 10 shows 2,404 syphilis cases. Tokyo reports 612 cases, followed by Osaka with 405 and Fukuoka and Aichi prefectures reporting 133 and 132 cases, respectively.
Through May 26 last year, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases report 2472 syphilis cases, with a quarter of cases being reported in Tokyo.
Syphilis was a major issue in Japan until shortly after the end of World War II, but the total reported cases declined to several hundred annually until 2011, when a rebound began.
Syphilis is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) that can cause long-term complications if not treated correctly. Symptoms of syphilis in adults include a painless sore that will go away without treatment followed by a non-itchy body rash. If left untreated syphilis can lead to damage through the body including neurological and cardiovascular complications. Syphilis also increases the risk of HIV infection and, for women, can cause problems during pregnancy and for the newborn.