GPs across Cork and the south have been warned of a 63% increase in the number of Syphilis cases in the region this year.
Surveillance to date this year has identified 41 cases in HSE South compared to 15 cases for the same period in 2018.
Management of HSE South wrote to GPs in the region highlighting the increase in figures.
The email said that the Department of Public Health and HSE South has noticed an increase in the number of Syphilis cases in the southern region.
The email states: “Data from the departments show that the majority of cases are in the 25-34 yr old age group (54%) with the main risk factor being men who have sex with men (MSM) (66%).
“This letter is to raise your awareness of the increase in syphilis cases and to request your support in ensuring that patients who attend your surgery for STI screening/symptoms suggestive of syphilis have screening tests performed.
“It’s important that all patients with a diagnosis of syphilis be referred to the local STI clinic for follow up/treatment and should have partner notification discussed at the time of treatment by a trained health-care professional,” the email added.
Services in Cork for people seeking STI screening or information include the Cork Sexual Health Centre, South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital and the Youth Health Service, which provides sexual health and counselling for people aged 23 and under.