Autochthonous, or locally transmitted Zika virus infection has likely occurred in the Miami, Fl area, as four cases have been reported and has dominated media coverage online and on television.

Treponema pallidum spirochetes under dark field microscopy Image/CDC
Treponema pallidum spirochetes under dark field microscopy

CDC Director, Dr Tom Frieden said, “All the evidence we have seen indicates that this is mosquito-borne transmission that occurred several weeks ago in several blocks in Miami.”

However, despite the large amount of publicity Zika is getting, the South Florida area has also been seeing rising numbers of syphilis cases, a sexually transmitted infection. Nationally, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL area is fifth in the nation concerning rates of syphilis with 14.1 cases per 100,000 population, following only San Francisco, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Atlanta, according to 2014 CDC data.

In addition, the State of Florida reported 5,340 syphilis cases between 2013-2015, of which, nearly 42 percent of the cases, or 2,218 total in Miami-Dade and Broward County.

The rate of syphilis in Miami-Dade County has risen every year since the end of the last century.