Officials: Syphilis outbreak in Oklahoma County, over 75 cases

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Health Department and the Oklahoma State Department of Health confirmed there are more than 75 cases of syphilis in Oklahoma County.

They are connected to a social network between the ages of 14 and 47 years old.

“A very alarming outbreak,” Tiffany Elmore, with the OKC-County Health Department, said.

According to health officials, the most common risk factors associated with this outbreak include drug use, exchanging sex for money or drugs, or having multiple sex partners.

Syphilis can cause infertility, still births and damage to organs.

The STD has different stages of infection and sometimes people will show no symptoms at all.

In the primary stage a person may develop sores around the genital areas or in the mouth.

Second phase symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes and skin rashes.

During the third level those infected may experience severe medical issues that could impact vital organs like the brain and heart.

The good news, syphilis is curable and there are ways to prevent yourself from getting it.

“Prevention would be having a long-term monogamous relationship, or abstaining from sex. Another option is to always wear condoms. To have that conversation with your partner and to get yourself screened and checked out,” Elmore said.

It’s important to go to your healthcare provider immediately if you think you have syphilis.

OCCHD is offering free testing at three different clinics

Click here for more information on syphilis.

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