Houston Reports Massive Outbreak of Syphilis Cases Among Women

(RepublicanNews.org) – The free love movement of the 1960s has come full circle in Houston, where officials are reporting a massive surge in syphilis infections among women. Behaviors that were once socially taboo have led to an almost 130% increase in the disease between 2019 and 2022.

The city’s Health Department reports women are passing the potentially deadly disease to their children in utero. Between 2016 and 2021, the department reports that congenital syphilis infections grew by almost 600%. 16 cases were diagnosed in 2016 versus 151 cases being discovered in 2021.

Infections across all genders and age groups for the 2019 to 2022 period showed a 57% increase.

In response to the outbreak, the health department will be increasing opportunities for residents to be screened and targeting areas where the disease is prevalent. The department also plans to waive fees for treatment and testing for other types of STIs and STDs at health centers.

A news release says the agency will be providing treatment, testing, and outbreak awareness in addition to putting an HIV/STD mobile clinic on city streets.

In the first stage of infection, open sores develop on one’s body. Antibiotics can successfully treat most people diagnosed with this infection, but if the disease goes untreated, it can progress to a second stage where a body-wide rash develops.

Further symptoms for the second stage of the ailment are hair and weight loss, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, sore throat, and headaches. Untreated second-stage infections can lead to damage to vital organs like the brain and liver. Nerves and joints can be affected as well.

At later stages, the disease can be life-threatening. Chicago gangster Al Capone suffered from the malady and eventually lost his mental faculties before finally dying of heart failure.

The CDC reports that despite the disease nearly being eliminated at one point, cases of syphilis in utero have risen more than 300% in the last few years.

Copyright 2023, RepublicanNews.org