Syphilis Cases Hit Record High for 2nd Year in Japan

Society Health

Tokyo, Sept. 8 (Jiji Press)--Syphilis infection cases reported in Japan have hit a record high for the second consecutive year this year, it was learned Thursday.

Cases reported this year totaled 8,155 as of Sunday, already topping 7,983 cases for the whole of last year, according to a preliminary government tally disclosed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Infectious Disease Surveillance Center on Thursday. Syphilis cases this year are on track to exceed 10,000.

According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, syphilis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. Reported cases have been on the rise since 2011. Last year’s number was the highest since the current survey method started in 1999.

Syphilis is mainly transmitted through sexual contact, causing symptoms such as generalized rash after lumps develop in the genitals. Initial symptoms are generally mild, and patients could suffer serious complications, including in the brain and heart, long after getting infected if their symptoms are left untreated.

The Japanese Society for Sexually Transmitted Infections is calling on people with suspected syphilis symptoms to visit medical institutions and recommending people to use condoms at the time of sexual intercourse to prevent infection.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press