By NewsDesk   @bactiman63

Officials with Alberta Health Services have reported a dramatic increase in syphilis cases in recent years with Edmonton accounting for the majority.


In 2014, Alberta saw 160 syphilis cases. Turn the clock forward to 2019 and health officials put that number to 1753 cases in just the first 11 months.

According to officials, this is the highest number of cases in the province since the 1940s.

Edmonton accounts for 68 percent of the 2019 total with 1,186 cases.

In Alberta, 61 congenital syphilis cases have been reported from 2014-2019 and 38 of these cases, or 62 percent occurred this year alone.

More than eight of 10 congenital syphilis cases in 2019 were reported from Edmonton.

“It’s very significant,” said Dr. Ameeta Singh, a clinical professor in infectious diseases. “That’s an alarming rise in new syphilis cases in Alberta.”

Concerning the rise in congenital syphilis, Dr Singh said, “Those are not numbers we should be talking about in Canada ever…in a country that has universal access to health care, in a major city in Canada where syphilis testing is offered to all pregnant woman who access prenatal care”.