Number of Syphilis Cases in Baltimore Drops 83% Since 1997
The number of syphilis cases in Baltimore has dropped 83% since 1997, the lowest level in at least 30 years, the Baltimore Sun reports. Baltimore last year recorded 110 cases, compared with 662 in 1997, when the city ranked first nationwide in the number of syphilis cases. In that year, one in every 20 syphilis cases in the country was in Baltimore. City Health Commissioner Dr. Peter Beilenson attributed the decrease in cases to increased education and outreach. However, Baltimore's gonorrhea and chlamydia rates still rank among the highest in the country and have not decreased over the same period. Beilenson said that the rates might not have changed because testing for the sexually transmitted diseases has been "widely expanded," according to the Sun (Baltimore Sun, 2/14).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.