Japan is seeing the record spread of syphilis this year, reporting a some 20 percent increase from 2022.
In Tokyo, the metropolitan government is strengthening its response, including increasing the number of testing sites and conducting online training for medical personnel.
Why are syphilis cases on the rise? The majority of infections are passed through sexual contact, including even merely kissing. In Tokyo, where the higher proportion of young people is a factor, an official with the Tokyo Metropolitan Infectious Disease Surveillance Center said, “One of the major causes is thought to be an increase in opportunities for sexual encounters.”
Those infected with syphilis in Japan exceeded 10,000 for the first time in 2022. In the same official’s view, “It’s possible the number of cases will continue to rise from here,” and the official urges people to take precautions such as practicing the proper use of condoms to prevent infection and proactively getting tested for syphilis.
Japanese experts are calling on people to get vaccinated against measles, citing concerns about a possible outbreak as travel between Japan and abroad is becoming active again after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, according to a Jiji Press report.
Through June 7, 14 measles cases have been reported.
The World Health Organization recognized that there is no indigenous measles virus in Japan.
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