Outbreak of syphilis in Ireland

20 July 2021

Article: 55/2907

Public health officials in Ireland have declared a national outbreak of syphilis. Most of the recorded cases are in men, but there is also an increase among women, and in heterosexual transmission.

The situation is ongoing and although the data for 2021 are incomplete, 242 cases were reported between 1 January and 30 April 2021. The majority of cases (79%) were recorded in Dublin, Kildare, and Wicklow, with smaller numbers recorded in Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare and Tipperary.

Syphilis is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by Treponema pallidum, which can be treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated can cause serious health problems to the heart, brain, eyes and nervous system.

Source: TRAVAX, 13 July 2021