WARNING: Syphilis Infections On The Rise, Experts Don’t Know Why

ThinkstockPhotos-469865039Syphilis infections in the United States dropped significantly in the 1990s, but cases have been on the upsurge again in recent years. So what’s the cause?

Many health officials don’t know.

MSN News reports that cases of this syphilis have been rising steadily across the country, based on information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Analyzing public health data through the year 2013, the CDC observed that the incidences of primary and secondary syphilis rose by 10 percent in the period between 2012 and 2013 only. That rate was more than two times as high as rates seen from 2001.

Syphilis incidents vary from place to place, with the Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami and Orlando metropolitan areas having some of the highest cases across the country. Other areas with high rates include Portland, San Antonio, San Diego and San Francisco.

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Reported cases of syphilis, which can cause severe health complications, surged and nearly doubled to over 800 cases four years after in the San Francisco Bay Area. A minimum of 15 cases of ocular syphilis, which can lead to blindness, have been reported in the states of California and Washington in the last few months.

A decline in the use of condoms is one obvious culprit. The percentage of men who have sex with men estimated to have had unprotected anal sex within the previous 12 months rose from 48 percent in 2005…