A syphilis epidemic has been declared in Las Vegas. In the last two years, reported cases of syphilis in Nevada have risen a staggering 128 percent.
Syphilis rates are rising all across the nation, but it seems like Nevada is leading the pack. The Las Vegas increase has pushed Nevada’s syphilis cases to No. 1 for the Western U.S., according to county health officials.
Syphilis, as described by the CDC, is an STD that can cause short and long-term complications such as rashes and organ damage if left untreated. Antibiotics are the preferred choice of treatment.
What's to blame for the syphilis rise? According to doctors, social media is the cause. Many physicians believe smartphone hook-up apps have made it easier for adults to take part in risky sexual behavior, causing the rise of STDs.
The LGBT community has been on high alert due to the fact that the highest numbers of reported cases are among men who sleep with men. As a response, organizers within the LGBT community have been expanding their safe sex educational outreach program for syphilis and other STDs.
Health officials are hoping that educational outreach methods will take hold among the community.
Until then — as the saying goes — what happens in Vegas stays in you until aggressively treated by antibiotics.
(Photo: Sylvain Sonnet/ Getty Images)