Chicago health officials monitoring syphilis outbreak in Roseland

Chicago News

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium

CHICAGO — Health officials are monitoring a syphilis outbreak in Roseland.

The outbreak is being investigating among older heterosexual men after five cases between Sept. 4 and Nov. 4 were confirmed in Roseland. All infected men reported having oral sex with females who engage in sex work.

In 2020, there were 919 reported syphilis cases in Chicago — up 13 percent from 2019. Data for 2021 is not available at this time.

In response to the outbreak, health officials are alerting medical providers in Roseland to provide more STD testing to sexually-active patients.

CDPH offers free testing for STIs at its STI Specialty clinics, including one in Roseland, at 200 E. 115th St.

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Syphilis is passed during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. The infection starts with a single painless lesion that develops within three or four weeks at the site of entry into the body, and often goes unnoticed

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