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Salt Lake County sees rise in syphilis cases

Salt Lake County sees rise in syphilis cases

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Salt Lake County is seeing an increasing number of syphilis cases.

Health officials say there was just one case in 2000. This year, there have been 33.

The number is small compared to the 3,000 cases of chlamydia each year but health officials worry about the rise of syphilis because it can be deadly in some cases if it's not treated.

Lynn Beltran, who oversees the sexually transmitted disease programs for the Salt Lake Valley Health Department, says national public health officials thought two decades ago that syphilis would be eliminated.

She says most cases in Salt Lake County involve men who have sex with men, which is typical across the country. About 10 percent of the local cases involve women.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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