By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
In 2017, Japan saw 5,534 syphilis cases, the first time that happened in more than 4 decades, Last year, the number of cases were even higher at 6,923.
The last time Japan saw more than 6,000 syphilis cases was 48 years ago.
Through Oct. 6 this year, the Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) have reported 5,111 cases, the third year in a row eclipsing the 5,000 mark.
The total include 1,310 cases reported in Tokyo and 810 cases in Osaka.
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.