WHITEHORSE — Health officials say the infection rate for syphilis in Yukon is higher than any rate on record since 1979.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Sudit Ranade says in a statement that the increase is cause for concern because the illness can have serious, long-term health implications if left untreated.
The sexually transmitted disease is occurring primarily in the heterosexual community, with 53 residents diagnosed last year, at a rate 17 times higher than in 2020.
Ranade says when left untreated it can cause a rash, fever, swollen glands, hair loss and even more serious infections in the heart, blood vessels and brain.
The statement says treatment for syphilis is very effective with the right antibiotic.
It says the best way to confirm you have the disease is to get tested, especially those who are pregnant, because syphilis can cause serious harm during a developing pregnancy.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 3, 2023.
The Canadian Press