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Syphilis outbreak warning in Palm Springs

Palm Springs is in the middle of a Syphilis outbreak warns county officials.
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Riverside County health officials are warning of a syphilis outbreak in Palm Springs.

In its first stage, the disease is characterized by sores on the genitals, rectum, and mouth followed by a rash. This can lead to fatigue, itching, swollen lymph nodes and finally brain damage, organ damage and even blindness.

Transmitted through unprotected sexual contact, blood, semen and shared needles, syphilis is easily treated in its early stages with Penicillin.  

“Primary Syphilis usually people get a sore, could be anywhere on the body, usually in the genital region sometimes in the mouth,” said Dr. Christopher Foltz at the Dock in Palm Springs who specializes and treats infectious diseases with the Desert Aids Project.

Program coordinator for the Riverside University Health System, Marcella Herrera-Carpenter said, “We don’t have any answers, we have dealing with this for a number of years and essentially we need to start thinking outside the box.”

Late last month thousands descended upon the city for the annual White Party.