Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cleveland, Cuyahoga County health officials report syphilis outbreak

**Come on Cleveland... This is jus nasty!!!**

Local health officials are so concerned about what they've labeled a syphilis outbreak that they are asking medical providers to screen all sexually active patients -- particularly young people -- for the disease.

Today, top medical officials in Cleveland, Shaker Heights and Cuyahoga County are sending out a joint public health alert letter to hospitals and medical clinics in Cuyahoga County.

Physicians and other medical providers who conduct screenings for sexually-transmitted diseases are urged to follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, which call for testing anyone for syphilis who tests positive for any other STD, and for testing all pregnant women at least twice during their pregnancy.

In early stages, syphilis may cause sores, fever, body rashes or a half-dozen other symptoms that eventually go away. Left untreated, the disease can progress and can cause damage to the brain and other internal organs, or other serious conditions. It also can be fatal. Pregnant women who have been infected are at higher risk of having a stillbirth or of giving birth to a baby with serious medical issues.

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