TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Pima County is experiencing an increase in the number of syphilis cases. The numbers are so concerning that the Pima County Health Department put out a health alert.
As of July 2014 there have been 77 cases of syphilis reported in the county, while in all of 2012 there were just 31 cases reported.
According to the Pima County Health Department, 72 percent of the cases were men under the age of 40, who reported having sex with another man. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection. The Health Department officials say it is easy to become infected and it is just as easy to cure, with testing and treatment. Symptoms may include a painless sore that appears inside or near the mouth or genital area. Also a rash can appear on the palm of the hands, bottom of the feet or on the body between the armpit and upper thighs.
If the infection goes untreated it can lead to severe health effects, including nerve damage and blindness.
The Pima County Health Department is offering free testing until October for syphilis, the testing can be done at one of four clinics in the county. For more information on the testing click