The Texas Department of State Health Services has issued a Syphilis Alert for Lubbock County. The alert is due to an increase in syphilis cases in Lubbock. During September and October 2017, 30 cases of early syphilis have been reported compared to 17 cases during the same time period in 2016. The alert asks for physicians and other medical providers in the community to screen those at risk to prevent the further spread of the disease.
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.
In most cases, syphilis is easily treated with a single injection of penicillin. Penicillin will also prevent syphilis infection in contacts that may not yet show symptoms.