Southland health professionals are warning of a rise in syphilis cases in Southland.
Southern Sexual Health’s clinical lead Alison Stewart-Pierce said it’s a wake-up call for Southlanders.
People need to be aware that someone can be highly infectious without knowing they’re carrying the disease, she said. There can be a window of around three months until it’s detected with a simple blood test.
Syphilis is usually transmitted through sexual contact with someone who already has the disease. It can also be spread from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy.
It can begin with a painless sore(s) and can then lead to fever, swollen glands, hair loss, fatigue, headaches, and weight loss.
Sexual Health Clinic clinical nurse Sue Ballam, who has nine years working in sexual health, only saw syphilis rashes for the first time this year. There have now been 14 cases in Southland since February 2019, but 14 in total for the whole of 2018.
With the use of dating apps like Tinder on the rise, it’s more important than ever before that people are aware of their partner’s sexual history and use protection.
Don’t rely on Google for a diagnosis. Make an appointment at your local sexual health clinic or your GP.
Invercargill Sexual heath Clinic Information.
Appointments: Mon (until 4pm), Tues, Wed (until 3pm)
Drop in clinics:
Mon 4:30pm – 5:45pm
Wed 3:30pm – 5:45pm
Fri 9am – 2pm
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