Increase Rates of Syphilis in Broward County

July 15, 2013

Notice from the Department of Health of Broward County

Increase Rates of Syphilis in Broward County

Broward County is experiencing an increase in Early Syphilis cases.  In 2012, 598 cases of Early Syphilis were reported to the Florida Department of Health in Broward County.  In 2012 there were also 15 cases of Congenital Syphilis reported in Broward County.  Additionally, Syphilis enhances HIV transmission.

Signs and Symptoms Indicative of Early Syphilis

  • In Primary Syphilis, one or more ulcers (chancres, lesions) develop shortly after inoculation at the site of exposure (mean 21 days, range 10-90 days) usually on the genitals or anus.  Patients may be unaware of these typically painless lesions especially if located in the vagina or anus.  Regional non-tender lymphadenopathy may develop also.  The lesion resolves with or without proper treatment.
  • In Secondary Syphilis, symptoms typically include generalized or localized skin rashes which may be florid or mild and most commonly involve a wide array of presentations ranging from macular, papular, pustular, papulosquamous, to annular.  These rashes may also cover the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.  Constitutional symptoms such as low grade fever, malaise, myalgias, sore throat, and generalized lymphadenopathy may also be present.  Less common signs/symptoms for this stage include alopecia, mucous patches in the oropharanx, and condylomata lata (moist, wart-like papules).  It is important to note that Syphilis can mimic many dermatologic conditions and is often mistaken for these or as an antiretroviral drug reaction in HIV infected patients receiving HAART.


Please contact your doctor immediately for an appointment if you have any signs, symptoms, or reason to believe that you have been exposed.