China syphilis infections up 30 percent each year: report

June 12, 2010

Rampant prostitution which has accompanied China's rapid economic growth is fuelling a 30 percent increase in syphilis infections each year, state media reported on Saturday.

Syphilis was almost wiped out in 50 years ago, but has increased 10-fold over the past decade to emerge as one of the country's top five infectious diseases, the China Daily said, quoting the ministry of health.

The rate of mother-to-child transmissions jumped alarmingly to 57 cases per 100,000 newborns between 2003 and 2008, from a previous seven cases per 100,000, it said.

The report follows an article in the last month that said one child was born with in China each hour as infected men pass it onto their wives, who in turn pass it to their foetuses.

It added that at least a third of were also married due to social pressures, further increasing transmission to spouses.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection which can be easily treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early, but if left untreated can lead to paralysis, blindness and death.

However, the spread of syphilis in China is further fuelled by a that discourages sufferers from seeking treatment, experts have said.

China had 32,000 new reported infections in May alone, including two deaths, the China Daily said.

China's rapidly growing economy has spurred huge population movements and a massive prostitution industry that have led to the resurgence of syphilis, the newspaper quoted experts saying.

"Massage parlours" and other venues for prostitution are ubiquitous in Chinese cities, despite it being illegal.

The newspaper said six million Chinese women were believed involved in the , but other independent estimates have put the figure twice as high.

No other country has seen such a rapid rise in syphilis cases since the discovery of penicillin, the New England Journal of Medicine article said.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Lactic acid bacteria can protect against Influenza A virus, study finds

December 13, 2017
Lactic acid bacteria, commonly used as probiotics to improve digestive health, can offer protection against different subtypes of influenza A virus, resulting in reduced weight loss after virus infection and lower amounts ...

Lyme bacteria survive 28-day course of antibiotics months after infection

December 13, 2017
Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the US, today announced results of two papers published in the peer-reviewed journals PLOS ONE and American Journal of Pathology, that seem to support ...

Aging impairs innate immune response to flu

December 13, 2017
Aging impairs the immune system's response to the flu virus in multiple ways, weakening resistance in older adults, according to a Yale study. The research reveals why older people are at increased risk of illness and death ...

Drug blocks Zika, other mosquito-borne viruses in cell cultures

December 12, 2017
If there was a Mafia crime family of the virus world, it might be flaviviruses.

Study seeks to aid diagnosis, management of catatonia

December 11, 2017
Catatonia, a syndrome of motor, emotional and behavioral abnormalities frequently characterized by muscular rigidity and a trance-like mental stupor and at times manifesting with great excitement or agitation, can occur during ...

New compound stops progressive kidney disease in its tracks

December 7, 2017
Progressive kidney diseases, whether caused by obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or rare genetic mutations, often have the same outcome: The cells responsible for filtering the blood are destroyed. Reporting today in Science, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.