Guess who’s back?

If you live within the city of Houston then you may have correctly guessed … syphyllis.

Though the U.S. Center for Disease and Control Prevention states that rates have been down across the nation by 1.6% since ’09; this comes as no comfort to Houstonians where it has spiked.

Although 2008-2011 showed a steady decline in the number of new cases diagnosed; this year the disease bounced back with a vengeance, increasing by 97%. With no clear culprit for the rise, many factors are being cited; including an increase in transmission among gay men, and minorities.

Interestingly enough, the Houston Health Department has added an additional contributing factor; social media.

Said Michael Thomas, Houston advisor of the Centers of Disease Control, “Primarily we’re seeing an increase among men who have sex with men and the primary factor in that risk group…meeting partners over the Internet and through social networking sites.”

Recently, the disease became prominent once more when noted male pornstar Mr. Marcus contracted the sexually transmitted infection (STI) and falsified the results.

Syphilis can easily be taken care with a treatment of penicillin; however, left untreated it can lie dormant in ones system before eventually laying havoc to both the brain and nervous system.

Additionally, the notorious red sores and rashes upon the palms and feet that can occur during its early stages can be missed or may not be present at all. Transmission can occur not only during sexual contact, but via birth, as well as through kissing.

Moreover, an increase of those diagnosed with it often correlates with higher incidences of HIV infection.

The CDC urges testing for those who may be at risk, or simply in general, as it is easily undetected if no symptoms initially appear.