By Sarah Te Slaa, Multimedia Producer/ Anchor - email
According to the CDC, many people who have syphilis, don't have any symptoms for years.
It's an STD you may have forgotten about, but syphilis rates are on the rise in Iowa.
A map of Iowa from the Center for Disease Control shows which counties in Iowa are seeing the highest rates of syphilis.
"There's been a definite increase in syphilis across Iowa and the rest of the country," says Tyler Brock with Siouxland District Health Department.
Brock says there were 60 cases in the state last year, compared to only 20 the year before.
"Of those 60 cases, there have been a small number that has been in Woodbury County," says Brock.
The majority of the increase is mostly among men. The STD is most commonly contracted through unprotected sex, but it can also be passed from mother to baby.
"Most of the cases have been associated with high risk sexual behavior and for the most part that's the reason why," says Brock.
Symptoms include sores, fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue.
"It's a serious disease," says Brock. "It's easy to treat if its caught early."
If not, it can turn to a rash and can even result in death.
According to the CDC, many people who have syphilis, don't have any symptoms for years. That's why testing is so important. A simple blood test can confirm a case the STD.
"Its easy to test for and it's easy to treat, so there's really not a lot of reasons why we shouldn't try to be taking care of this thing early," says Brock.
If you suspect you might have syphilis, or any other STD, you can always get tested at the Siouxland District Health Department. You don't have to make an appointment and can walk in and ask to be tested. It's free and completely confidential. There is also no charge for any treatment.
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