By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) issued a health advisory Monday concerning increases in syphilis in Delaware County, bordering the city of Philadelphia.


Officials report 104 early syphilis (primary, secondary, or early latent syphilis) cases during the first half of 2021. This exceeds the total reported number of early syphilis for all of 2020.

Based on current trends, reported early syphilis this year is on track to exceed 210 cases, which will represent a 104 percent increase from 2020.

This would be highest number of cases reported in the county in 20 years.

Syphilis in females is projected to be 50 cases in 2021, a 178 percent increase over the 18 cases reported last year. 84 percent of these cases are in women of child-bearing age.

In response to the recent increase in Early Syphilis in Delaware County, the PADOH is recommending the following:

1. All pregnant females be offered a test for syphilis at the following intervals:

• At the first prenatal visit
• At the third trimester of pregnancy
• At the delivery of a child, or
• At the delivery of a stillborn child

2. All patients with a recent positive test for another sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or chlamydia need to be tested for syphilis and HIV.

3. All patients presenting with any of the following symptoms or conditions should be tested for syphilis:

• A macular and/or papular rash on the palms of the hands or on the soles of the feet
• A generalized rash that may be macular, papular, or papulosquamous on the back, chest,
or stomach
• A lesion in the genital, rectal, or oral area
• Moist papules in the anogenital region or the mouth
• Sudden “Moth-eaten” scalp alopecia with a typical onset at the back of the head
• Loss of eyelashes and the lateral third of the eyebrows
• Generalized lymphadenopathy
• Malaise