Syphilis is spreading faster than ever in Japan in the past two decades. Experts estimate that the number of cases will exceed 10,000 within one year.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that’s mainly transmitted by sexual contact. The disease can cause symptoms that last for a long time or may not be present in the first place. It is curable but can cause serious heart and brain problems if not treated.
According to Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 7,013 cases were reported from January through August 7 according to the Institute. This is 1.7 times the number reported last year for the same time period.
If the current rate of cases growth continues, this year’s total could surpass 10,000 for the first-time since 1999, when comparable data was first made available.
The men who carried the cases that were reported by July 3 comprised 67 percent.
The female carriers comprised 75 percent of the total. Infections in men were more widespread, with those in their 20s accounting 22.4 percent, their 30s 25.4%, their 40s 25.8%, their 50s 25.4%, and their 50s 16.4 %.
Syphilis experts agree that condoms can be used to prevent infection. However, condoms may not be 100% effective. They advise anyone who has had risky sex to be tested for the disease, even if they don’t have symptoms.
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