Significant number of syphilis cases reported in Cork and Kerry

Significant number of syphilis cases reported in Cork and Kerry

41 cases of syphilist have been identified in the HSE South region this year. Pic: iStock

An investigation into an increase in early infectious syphilis (EIS) cases in Ireland is continuing.

Earlier this summer, a national outbreak of early infectious syphilis (EIS) was declared with 242 cases reported nationally between January 1 and April 30.

A significant proportion of the cases were reported in Cork and Kerry (9 percent of all cases).

New figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) show that the number of cases of EIS being reported is still continuing to rise, with 498 cases of EIS notified between January 1 and August 21, a 43% increase compared to the same time period in 2020 (349 cases).

The majority of cases have been notified in HSE-East (79%, 395 cases) however a significant proportion of cases have been reported in the HSE South with 39 cases notified in the same period (8 per cent of the total number of cases).

The HPSC said that historically in Ireland, EIS cases have been predominantly in men.

While the majority of cases remain in males, it said the proportion of cases among females has increased in recent years (4.5% in 2018 to 8% of cases reported to date in 2021).

The centre said that anyone with signs or symptoms of syphilis should be tested.

Free at home testing can be accessed for people in Cork and Kerry via sh24

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