Health officials in Canyon County in western Idaho are reporting a syphilis outbreak among men, according to a KBOI2 report. The outbreak of the sexually transmitted infection in the Treasure Valley has nearly quadrupled during the past year.

Image/Southwest District Health
Image/Southwest District Health

The 21 cases reported since Jan. 2015 has been reported primarily in young, gay or bisexual men who have reported alcohol and substance abuse problems.

Health officials with Southwest District Health advise that people that people concerned about sexual contact they may have had to get tested.

Syphilis is primarily a sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacteria. It is transmitted by unprotected oral, anal and vaginal sex. Early symptoms of infection may include a painless ulcer or chancre, rash, fever, swollen or enlarged lymph nodes, hair loss, and headaches.

Symptoms may or may not be present. If left untreated, syphilis can cause serious health complications including heart problems, brain damage, blindness and even death.