worrying symptoms accompany the increase in cases in the United States – L’Express

worrying symptoms accompany the increase in cases in the United

Although syphilis appeared in the Middle Ages, the symptoms of this sexually transmitted infection (STI) can still evolve today. As evidenced by this new studyrelayed by CNN this Friday, April 26 and carried out by American researchers from Chicago, which shows the appearance of new symptoms in people suffering from this STI.

Thus, patients complain in particular of ocular and optical problems, headaches and dizziness. In addition to the severity of these new symptoms, they also appear to be atypical in people with syphilis.

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“Doctors have long known that syphilis can permanently damage a person’s vision and hearing and can even lead to psychiatric changes, but these symptoms are usually associated with infections that have not been diagnosed or treated for years,” notes CNN.

According to the authors of the study, presented on April 24 at the “Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference” in Atlanta, more than two dozen cases presenting this type of symptoms were recorded in Chicago last year, and nearly a third of them were in the early stages of infection.

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Furthermore, more than two thirds of these patients (68%) did not present the usual symptoms of this STI, such as a rash or chancre, likely to alert doctors to the infection. In fact, researchers emphasize the importance of screening, but also on the identification of risk factors in patients, such as their sexual history.

Upsurge in cases

If syphilis is regularly associated with men (81% of cases, according to one study from the University of San Diegocarried out in January 2023), and in particular those who have sexual relations with other men (51% of cases), “the demographics of the infection have changed”, reports the American television channel.

The rate of syphilis among women increased by 147% between 2015 and 2020 (from 1.9 to 4.7 cases per 100,000), according to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). Additionally, congenital syphilis, where the infection is passed from a pregnant woman to her baby, is also on the rise. 10 times more newborns are born with this STI than a decade ago, says the CDC.

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More generally, in the United States, the number of cases has increased in recent years. In 2022, more than 207,000 cases of syphilis have been reported, the highest number since the 1950s, according to the CDC. A trend also observed in France, where STIs of bacterial origin (chlamydia, gonococcus and syphilis – different from HIV which is a virus) experienced a sharp increase between 2020 and 2022 in mainland France, according to a Public Health France report dated December 2023.

If chlamydia remains the most recurrent infection in absolute figures in France (+16% in 2022 compared to 2020, with 102 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), the evolution of gonorrhea and syphilis is alerting specialists. The proportion of syphilis infections increased by 110%, to reach 21 cases per 100,000, while gonorrhea infections jumped by 91% (with 44 cases per 100,000).