DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) – Delaware County is reporting an increase in syphilis cases, the Pennsylvania Health Advisory Network announced on Tuesday. The number of reported cases for 2021 has already surpassed last year’s number and officials expect the case numbers to be the highest in the county in 20 years by the end of the year.

Officials say the county reported 104 cases of early syphilis during the first half of 2021. And that number is expected to exceed 210 cases for the year, which will represent a 104% increase from 2020. Officials say about 84% of the cases from 2021 in the county came from women.

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The increase is now prompting the Pennsylvania Department of Health to issue testing recommendations.

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Testing Recommendations from Pennsylvania Department of Health:

  1. All pregnant females be offered a test for syphilis at the following intervals:
    At the first prenatal visit
    At the third trimester of pregnancy
    At the delivery of a child, or
    At the delivery of a stillborn child
  2. All patients with a recent positive test for another sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or chlamydia need to be tested for syphilis and HIV
  3. All patients presenting with any of the following symptoms or conditions should be tested for syphilis:
    A macular and/or papular rash on the palms of the hands and/or on the soles of the feet
    A generalized rash that may be macular, papular, or papulosquamous on the back, chest, or stomach
    A lesion in the genital, rectal, or oral area
    Moist papules in the anogenital region or the mouth
    Sudden “Moth-eaten” scalp alopecia with a typical onset at the back of the head
    Loss of eyelashes and the lateral third of the eyebrows
    Generalized lymphadenopathy
    Malaise
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More information on syphilis including symptoms and treatment can be found here.