Syphilis cases on the rise in Onslow County

Onslow Health Dept
Onslow County Human Services Agency (Photo: WCTI)

Health officials are reporting a spike in syphilis cases in Onslow County.

There was a 38 percent increase in cases from 2019 to 2020.

Communicable Disease Nursing Supervisor with the Onslow County Health Department Kimberly Collins broke down this data and said the county has also jumped to 27th in the state.

“That’s a pretty significant increase,” said Collins.

Collins said the spike in syphilis cases is turning heads at the Onslow County Health Department.

Collins said she’s not sure, but more than 50 percent of the new early-diagnosis syphilis cases in the state were in people aged 20-34, which she said could, in part, have something to do with Jacksonville being the youngest city in the United States demographically.

“Syphilis can go on and stay in your body for a long time, cause organ damage, it can lead to neurosyphilis, which affects your nervous system, brain, it can affect your eyes, and even result in death long-term if you never are treated for it,” she said.

Read more from WCTI.

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