Health officials declare national outbreak of syphilis

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has reported a national outbreak of Early Infectious Syphilis (EIS).

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, EIS cases were rising and this had been identified as an area for urgent action. After a small decrease in cases in 2020, coinciding with the first wave of COVID-19, EIS notifications are increasing once more and are exceeding the numbers observed in 2019 and previous years.

While the majority of cases continue to be reported in males, there is an increase in female cases and in heterosexual transmission.

On Wednesday, Consultant in Genito-Urinary Medicine Dr. Aisling Loy spoke to Newstalk’s Pat Kenny as to how, despite over a year of Covid-19 restrictions and people being asked to stay apart, a national outbreak could have occurred.