Syphilis Infections Top 6,000 for 1st Time since 1970 in Japan
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Tokyo, Nov. 28 (Jiji Press)--Syphilis infection cases reported in Japan this year totaled 6,096 as of Nov. 18, exceeding 6,000 for the first time since 1970 on an annual basis, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said Wednesday.
The number of syphilis patients stood at 1,548 in Tokyo, the highest among the country's 47 prefectures, followed by 1,043 in Osaka, western Japan, 399 in Aichi, central Japan, 314 in Kanagawa, south of Tokyo, and 272 in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan.
According to the health ministry, the number of patients is increasing markedly among men in their 20s to 50s and women in their 20s to 30s. But the cause of the increase has yet to be identified.
Beginning in January next year, the ministry will require doctors to report the use of sex industry services by their syphilis patients under a mandatory reporting system in order to identify the cause of the disease's spread.
Syphilis is mainly transmitted through sexual contact, causing red rashes on patients months after their infections.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]