Washoe County sees spike in syphilis cases

Washoe County sees spike in syphilis cases

CREATED Feb 27, 2014

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- The Washoe County Health District is warning about a significant increase in sexually transmitted diseases in the Reno-Sparks area.

District spokeswoman Jennifer Howell says the number of cases of syphilis that reached the primary or secondary stage doubled in each of the past two years, from eight in 2011, to 16 in 2012 and 32 last year.

A total of only eight of those kinds of cases were reported in the three previous years combined.

The primary and secondary stages are considered contagious.

The total number of cases, including later stages that are not contagious, has gone from 23 in 2011 to 78 in 2013.

Howell says most of the increase involves Reno's homeless community as well as men who have sex with men without a condom.