• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Syphilis making surprise comeback in Germany
Photo: DPA.

Syphilis making surprise comeback in Germany

DPA/The Local · 11 Dec 2015, 16:09

Published: 11 Dec 2015 16:09 GMT+01:00

Germany had 5,722 new cases of syphilis in 2014 - an increase of 14 percent over the year before, according to a new report by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

The number of syphilis cases in Germany has been increasing each year since 2010, after spread of the infection started to stagnate and even slightly decline in the mid-2000s. The first half of 2015 also seemed to show a continued increase in cases, the report said.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is contracted through sexual contact, as well as from mother to child at birth. The infection has various stages, the first of which is characterized by sores, the second by a skin rash and sometimes fever.

Untreated cases can lead to death.

The institute said in the report published on Monday that most of the spread of the STI was between men, with 84 percent of new cases believed to be contracted from one man to another.

The vast majority of patients with syphilis were men, with women making up just 6.3 percent of new cases, a slight decrease since the year before.

The influence of party drugs could be a cause for the increase in cases, said Professor Norbert Brockmeyer, president of the German Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (DSTIG). Such drugs may reduce the user's awareness of possible risks, he argues.

Berlin is syphilis hotspot

The report also showed a great geographical variance across the country in terms of which regions had the most cases.

Berlin had by far the highest proportion of syphilis cases across the 16 states, with 31 diagnoses for every 100,000 residents. In comparison, the country average was 7.1 cases for every 100,000 residents.

Meanwhile, the state of Brandenburg which surrounds Berlin had one of the lowest rates at about half the national average, along with Thuringia and Schleswig-Holstein.

Story continues below…

Hamburg had the second-highest rate at 19.7 cases per 100,000. All other states had rates of 7.2 per 100,000 or less.

Big cities across the country had higher than average rates of syphilis, with Cologne (31.9 cases per 100,000) and Munich (27.2) also recording high incidences. 

But a third of the cases nationwide happened in towns with less than 100,000 citizens.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Trabi totalled on Autobahn after skidding on snail slime
Photo: Paderborn police

A vintage East German "Trabi" car has come unstuck after its driver hit a snail trail on the Autobahn.

Munich 'to spend extra €2.2m' on Oktoberfest security
Oktoberfest in Munich, 2014. Photo: DPA.

After terror attacks in Paris, Brussels and most recently Istanbul, Munich could spend nearly €3 million more on security and other measures - but terrorism isn't the only concern: the biggest fear is overcrowding.

The Local List
Six ways to make this Munich summer one to remember
The Kocherlball in the English Garden. Photo: DPA

At a loss for what to do with the warm months in Munich this year? These six attractions have to go on your summer bucket list.

Brexit vote
Germans rally on Twitter to show love for UK
Photo: DPA

Twitter was swamped with tributes after Germany's largest liberal newspaper asked readers to show some love for Britain despite its vote to leave the EU.

German kidnaps Swiss child, raising online gaming fears
File photo: Rachel Johnson / Flickr Creative Commons.

A 12-year-old Swiss boy was allegedly abused by a German man he first met online.

'Hero' refugee hands in €150,000 he found in wardrobe
Muhannad and the secondhand wardrobe. Photo: Minden Police.

A refugee from Syria found a huge stash of money in a secondhand wardrobe he bought. But keeping it for himself would have been a betrayal of his religion, he said.

Istanbul airport bombing
Flights from Berlin to Istanbul cancelled after terror attack
Turkish police block the road after an suicide bomb attack at Atatürk Airport in Istanbul. Photo: EPA.

All flights from Berlin's Tegel airport to Istanbul have been cancelled after a suicide bomb attack killed at least 36 people in the city's major airport.

German extremist groups 'getting bigger, more brutal'
A violent demo in Frankfurt in 2015. Photo: DPA

Political extremism rose sharply in Germany last year - among far-right but also far-left and Islamist radical groups - the domestic intelligence agency said Tuesday.

Berlin puts spies on tighter leash after NSA scandal
An installation of the BND in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Germany on Tuesday approved new measures to rein in the activities of its foreign intelligence agency after a scandal over improper collusion with the US National Security Agency.

Brexit vote
There's no way back for Britain, says 'sad' Merkel
Angela Merkel (r) and David Cameron in Brussels. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the EU summit in Brussels late on Tuesday that she didn't see any way that the British decision to leave the EU could be reversed.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
7,944
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd