Health authorities declare syphilis outbreak has spread to Adelaide

Source: ABC News, Exclusive by Rebecca Puddy and Isabel Dayman, 14 November 2018

A syphilis outbreak has been declared in Adelaide, as health authorities warn unborn babies could die if the infectious disease transmits through the womb.

SA Health issued an alert to medical practitioners, advising the syphilis outbreak had formally been extended to Adelaide after previously being in place in the state’s Far North, Eyre Peninsula and western regions.

The outbreak began in regional Queensland in 2011, and since then thousands of people across four states have been infected.

The Federal Government’s response to the outbreak — which includes rapid response tests — is yet to reach South Australia.

It has been rolled out in regional centres in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

SA Health communicable disease control director Louise Flood said there had been a “small but sustained increase in syphilis cases in metropolitan Adelaide over the past six months”.

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