Rapid tests deployed to curb growing syphilis outbreak in N.W.T. – CBC

Syphilis rates in the N.W.T. grew by 1,100 per cent in women and 484 per cent in men in 3 years

Jul 19, 2022

Public health officials in the N.W.T. are rolling out a limited supply of rapid syphilis tests to try and bring a growing outbreak of the disease under control and to prevent it from being passed on to babies.

Dr. Kami Kandola, the territory’s public health officer, said syphilis rates have “far exceeded” what they were when she declared an outbreak in 2019. There were 98 cases in 2021 she said, and 47 cases within the first three months of this year.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says infectious syphilis rates have gone up substantially across the country over the past decade, and many outbreaks have been reported in the past five years.

The sexually transmitted disease can first appear as painless open sores usually in the genital area and can be cured with antibiotics. Left untreated, the infection can lead to permanent neurological issues and death.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/syphilis-rapid-test-nwt-1.6525691

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