In a follow-up on the syphilis outbreak in Japan in 2018, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo has reported an additional 600 cases in the past four weeks.

The annual tally has risen from 6,096 to 6,661 from Epi week 46 to 50.

Tokyo has seen 1,694 cases, followed by Osaka (1,142), Aichi (429) and Kanagawa (345).

Health officials say this is the highest number of cases reported in several decades.

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.


Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman