Health officials: Number of syphilis cases have doubled

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire health officials say the state is experiencing an outbreak of syphilis, with the number of reported cases so far for 2017, about double that of previous years.

From January to May, 42 cases of syphilis, a reportable sexually transmitted disease, were identified. That’s an increase compared with the past five years, when an average of 20 cases were reported during those months.

Health officials say between 2012 and 2016, there were on average about 80 total cases per year of the disease reported in New Hampshire, with 2016 having the highest number of 104 cases reported for the entire year.

They say the outbreak in New Hampshire is consistent with national trends. Approximately 60 percent of cases have been in Hillsborough and Rockingham counties.

Dr. Benjamin Chan, state epidemiologist, says it can be cured when a person is given the right antibiotics.

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