The HSE has warned that 2021 saw a spike in cases of syphilis in the greater Dublin area.
According to Dublin Live, 616 syphilis cases were reported, a jump from 474 cases reported in 2020.
In response, health officials are warning the public to be aware of the symptoms of the sexually transmitted disease which can include a non-itchy rash anywhere on the body, tiredness, headaches, joint pains, fever, painful eyes or blurred vision and hair loss.
Dublin Live reported that in a statement the HSE said:
“There is a potentially large undiagnosed reservoir of syphilis infection in Ireland due in part to the impact of COVID-19. Syphilis is a very treatable sexually transmitted infection (STI) and early recognition and treatment are critical to preventing avoidable morbidity for those infected and onward transmission to others.
“If an infection remains untreated, it can cause serious health problems to the heart, brain, eyes and nervous system. Primary, secondary and early latent syphilis are sexually infectious and are collectively termed EIS. Syphilis can also be passed from mother to foetus in utero, known as congenital syphilis.”
Health Authorities are recommending that anyone newly diagnosed with syphilis should be referred to Infectious Diseases services for assessment and treatment.
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