With the syphilis rate at the lowest level ever reported in the United States, public health officials say they have been given a unique chance to eliminate the disease throughout the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the incidence of syphilis in 1998 (the most recent year for which data were available) was 2.6 cases per 100,000 people, down 19% from 3.2 cases per 100,000 in 1997. Late last year, Jeffrey Koplan, MD, MPH, the CDC's director, stated, "At the close of this century, we have a brief window of opportunity to eliminate one of the public health threats we've been battling the longest."
Mitka M. US Effort to Eliminate Syphilis Moving Forward. JAMA. 2000;283(12):1555-1556. doi:10.1001/jama.283.12.1555-JMN0322-3-1