Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Syphilis Declines in City for 2nd Year 44% Drop Reported from 1994 to 1995

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Syphilis Declines in City for 2nd Year 44% Drop Reported from 1994 to 1995

Article excerpt

For the second consecutive year, the number of syphilis cases in St. Louis has declined, spurred by a state-funded program that tracks those infected and identifies their sexual contacts.

That good news is tempered by the fact that the city's syphilis infection rate remains among the nation's highest.

In 1995, 361 cases of primary and secondary syphilis were reported in St. Louis. That is a decrease of 44 percent from the 651 cases reported in 1994 and a 60 percent decline from the record 908 cases in 1993.

"We are particularly pleased that the number of cases of congenital syphilis (found in children of women who had the disease during pregnancy) dropped nearly 50 percent, from 1994 to 1995," said Dr. Kathryn N. Vedder, the city's health director.

More state and federal funding for an aggressive program to combat the sexually transmitted disease has fueled the general decline in syphilis, said Richard C. Knaup, who manages the effort.

Under the Sexually Transmitted Disease Program, employees meet with people who have syphilis to identify their sexual partners and treat them before the disease can appear, usually about three weeks after exposure to the bacteria. …

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