Oregon health officials reported a large increase in the sexually transmitted infection (STI), syphilis since 2007, infect, they put the increase at approximately 1500 percent. In 2007, 26 syphilis cases were reported, while some 450 were seen in 2014.

Oregon map Image/ National Atlas of the United States
Oregon map
Image/ National Atlas of the United States

This substantial increase has prompted health officials to create SyphAware, where the website’s sub title states: OREGON IS KNOWN FOR MANY THINGS: NATURAL BEAUTY, COFFEE, BEER AND PINOT NOIR. DID YOU KNOW THAT OREGON IS ALSO KNOWN FOR SYPHILIS?

The website offers awareness and information to the public about syphilis to include a quiz (example question: What is one of the first symptoms of syphilis?), info on transmission, symptoms, testing and treatment.

You can even get free reminders sent to your phone or email to test for STIs every 3–6 months

In addition, the website offers resources for health care providers about the STI.

Public service ads advising people about the epidemic in Portland will appear on TriMet buses this month. The ads will direct the public to SyphAware.org.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that is spread by direct, skin to skin contact during unprotected sex. Pregnant women who are infected can transmit it to their unborn babies.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

Follow @bactiman63