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Outbreak of syphilis in Manitoba

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Summary

The outbreak could be impacted by the meth crisis

Cases in women have increased ten-fold

MANITOBA (NEWS 1130) –┬áDoctors in Manitoba says the meth crisis could be making an outbreak of syphilis in that province even worse.

The number of people with the disease has nearly tripled since 2014, and for women, its increased more than ten-fold.

Chief Public Health Officer Michael Isaac says women can pass the bacterial infection on during pregnancy.

“Historically, when cases increase in women, cases of syphilis in newborns increase as well,” he says. “And this has unfortunately occurred in Manitoba with more than ten infants treated for congenital syphilis in the past six months.”

He adds substance abuse and a lack of prenatal care were common factors in many of the ten cases.