Johnson County officials are urging residents to take precautions and get early screening after seeing a spike in the number of syphilis cases among young people.
Health officer Dr. Craig Moorman says the county has 25 confirmed or suspected cases of the disease. He tells the Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/RSHbxg ) most of those infected are in their mid-teens to mid-20s.
Health department nursing director Lisa DeVault says people need to contact their doctor quickly if they believe they might be infected. She says treatment is most effective if administered within the first year of infection.
Short-term symptoms of syphilis can include sores, rashes, hair loss, headaches and other flu-like symptoms. Untreated cases have been known to cause dementia and death.