Syphilis Outbreak in NH

On June 22, 2017, NH DHHS issued a health alert regarding a syphyilis outbreak in New Hampshire.  NH DPHS Health Alert

Key Points and Recommendations:

  • 42 cases of infectious syphilis were identified in New Hampshire from January through May of 2017. Over the last five years on average only 20 cases were reported during this same time frame.
  • Consistent with national trends, this increase in syphilis is primarily in males who are under 40 years of age, and in men who have sex with men (MSM). Approximately 60% of cases have been from Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties.
  • Individuals with sexual risk factors should be tested for syphilis, including MSM and anybody who is diagnosed with another sexually transmitted disease (e.g. gonorrhea); see below for more details on screening.
  • Routine screening of pregnant women is necessary to prevent congenital syphilis – all pregnant women need to be tested for syphilis at the first prenatal visit, and women at high risk for syphilis should be tested again early in the third trimester and at delivery. NH has not had a case of congenital syphilis since 2013.
  • Sex partners of patients diagnosed with syphilis need to be connected with medical care for testing and treatment. The Manchester and Nashua Health Departments offer free testing and treatment for sex partners of patients diagnosed with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Information on accessing these resources can be found here: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/std/documents/testingsites.pdf.
  • Please report all cases of syphilis to the NH Division of Public Health Services at 603-271-4496 (after hours 603-271-5300).

Full DHHS Health Alert