An outbreak of infectious syphilis affecting rural and remote Aboriginal communities in the Far North and Eyre and Western regions of South Australia (SA) since November 2016 has now extended to metropolitan Adelaide.
A total of 49 cases have been notified in the Far North and Eyre and Western region since the outbreak was declared. In metropolitan Adelaide, a further 15 cases have occurred, with a small but sustained increase in the past six months.
This outbreak is part of a multi-jurisdictional outbreak of syphilis occurring across northern Australia in predominantly rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Syphilis is highly infectious during the first two years of infection. Pregnant women can transmit syphilis to their babies, which can result in perinatal death, premature delivery, and congenital abnormalities. In SA, five cases of infectious syphilis have occurred in pregnant women, and one child has been born with congenital syphilis. Syphilis also increases the risk of HIV transmission.
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