[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 5, 1965

Outbreak of Infectious Syphilis in South Carolina

Author Affiliations

From the Venereal Disease Control Section, South Carolina State Board of Health, Columbia.

JAMA. 1965;193(1):13-16. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090010019004

In a textile manufacturing city with a population of 10,435 and with 11 private physicians, the importance of cooperation between private medicine and public health was effectively demonstrated in the control of an epidemic of 45 cases of early syphilis. The chain of infection involved 365 white persons in five counties and eight states. Of the total cases, 26 were reported by 15 different physicians in the town and environs. All physicians reporting requested patient interview and epidemiologic follow-up. A team of workers dispatched to the area instituted all techniques of rapid epidemiology, finding cases in the early infectious stages. Coincidentally an intensive educational program was launched in the city and vicinity. In five months the epidemic was brought under control, and in the ensuing seven months only four new cases developed in the area.