syphilis syphilis

Mary Horman (left), a registered nurse for Clackamas County, and Liz Baca, a disease intervention specialist for the county, search for the right address in an Oregon neighborhood. Part of their job is to get information to people who may have a serious, treatable infection, yet not realize it. Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB hide caption

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Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

Discreetly Tracking Down Sex Partners To Stop A Surge In STDs

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A tinted transmission electron micrograph of Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria (light purple/black) inside a cell. Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S., with more than 1.7 million reported cases in 2017. Biomedical Imaging Unit, Southampton General Hospital/Science Source hide caption

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Biomedical Imaging Unit, Southampton General Hospital/Science Source

A billboard above a gas station reads "Feel The Burn," a play on 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' campaign slogan, "Feel The Bern." It's actually promoting tests for sexually transmitted diseases. Nick Ut/AP hide caption

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Nick Ut/AP

Syphilis can be wiped out with one to three shots of penicillin. PhotoAlto/Eric Audras/Getty Images hide caption

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PhotoAlto/Eric Audras/Getty Images

Penicillin Shortage Could Be A Problem For People With Syphilis

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The bacterium that causes syphilis is spread through sexual contact. It's easily cured with antibiotics, but can be hard to diagnose. CDC/Phanie/Science Source hide caption

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CDC/Phanie/Science Source