A Montreal doctor is warning that rates of syphilis are on the rise in Montreal, as they are in the rest of the country. Dr Réjean Thomas, who is the medical director of the l'Actuel clinic, posted on Facebook about the resurgence of the disease, which was previously thought to be almost eradicated.
Between 2010 and 2015, syphilis diagnoses increased by 85%, and this trend does not appear to have slowed down. Dr Thomas noted in his Facebook post that he has "never treated so many cases of syphilis in [his] entire life."
This increase is indeed worrying, as the infection can cause some real health problems if left untreated.
Dr Thomas posted to Facebook on Tuesday, May 28 to detail the "explosion" of syphilis cases in Montreal. He details the fact that his clinic has treated 60 cases of syphilis in the last month alone.
Dr Thomas details that syphilis had almost been eradicated in the late 1990s: by 1998, only three cases of syphilis were declared in Quebec. However, the infection saw a resurgence in the early 2000s, and cases have been steadily increasing.
Dr Thomas' original post can be read above. It is written in French.
Between 2010 and 2015, syphilis diagnoses increased by 85%. And, according to Dr Thomas, syphilis rates are expected to continue increasing.
Syphilis primarily affects young men, but young women are increasingly becoming affected.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection which is most commonly transmitted through oral, genital, or anal sex with an infected person. If left untreated, the infection can cause muscle and brain tissue damage. If untreated, syphilis can eventually lead to death.
It is called "the great imitator" because its unpredictable symptoms are often confused for a plethora of other health conditions.
According to Health Canada, "Syphilis is diagnosed through a simple blood test and is easily treated with penicillin or other antibiotics."
To avoid contracting syphilis, Health Canada recommends that you practice safe sex, which includes the use of condoms and talking to your partner about their sexual history.