EDMONTON – Syphilis rates not seen in Alberta since 1948 have prompted the province’s chief medical officer to declare an outbreak of the disease and encourage people to get tested for it.

A total of 1,536 cases of infectious syphilis were reported in 2018 compared with 161 in 2014 – almost a tenfold increase, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer.

“And it’s getting worse,” Hinshaw said Tuesday. “From 2017 to 2018, the number of cases jumped 187 per cent and we are expecting even higher numbers for 2019.”

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