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Montana recorded the most syphilis cases since 1948



Helena, Montana – According to preliminary data from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), syphilis cases in Montana reached record highs in 2022.

“Syphilis is a systemic infection meaning it can affect your entire body and multiple organ systems,” said DPHHS STI/HIV/Viral Hepatitis Section Supervisor Kristi Aklestad.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is spread through sexual contact.

With 602 instances, the number of cases in Montana in 2022 was the highest it had been since 1948.

The age group between 26 and 30 years old had the largest percentage of cases. Additionally, the age range of the majority of syphilis-positive women was between 14 and 49.

Congenital syphilis cases increased by 67%, which is also on the rise. This is in reference to syphilis instances that spread during pregnancy from the mother to the fetus.

Congenital syphilis can cause jaundice, deformities in the bones, deafness, and other conditions in newborn babies.

“And really encourage all pregnant women to seek prenatal care. And their healthcare provider will test them for syphilis during their pregnancy, and then they can be treated and prevent this from happening to their infant,” Aklestad said.

Getting routinely tested and engaging in safe and protected intercourse can lessen your risk.

Fortunately, getting rid of this STI is not too difficult. A dose of penicillin or several doses have been proven to aid in STI recovery.

However, it’s crucial to consult your doctor for a complete diagnosis and course of action.

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