Syphilis outbreak rages on in Nunavut

Nunavut health officials say there have been 74 confirmed cases of the sexually-transmitted infection in Nunavut since May 2012 with new cases every week.

74 confirmed cases since May 2012

A syphilis outbreak in Nunavut that began last year continues to concern health officials.

Nunavut health officials say there have been 74 confirmed cases of the sexually-transmitted infection in Nunavut since May 2012 with new cases every week.

Dr. Maureen Baikie, Nunavut's chief medical officer of health, is urging people to get tested for syphilis even they don't have symptoms as the infection can have serious health consequences.

Most are in Iqaluit.

"The important things about syphilis are, first of all, people can have it and not know they have it, which is why it's so important to go and get tested," said Dr.Maureen Baikie, Nunavut's chief medical officer of health.

"The other thing is it can be a lifelong infection and the longer you have it without treatment, the more serious the consequences can be."

The infection is easily cured with antibiotics but if left untreated it can cause severe damage to the heart, blood vessels and brain, and even death.

Health officials are encouraging people to get tested and practise safer sex, by decreasing the number of sexual partners and using a condom during sex.

 

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