Lubbock County is now under a Syphilis Alert, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Officials say there have been 24 cases of the disease so far this year. That is compared to just eight during the same time period last year.
Syphilis is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) that can cause serious long-term complications if not treated.
The alert asks for physicians and other medical providers in the community to screen those at risk to prevent the further spread of the disease. Symptoms of syphilis in adults include a painless sore that will go away without treatment followed by a non-itchy body rash.
If left untreated, Syphilis can lead to damage through the body including neurological and cardiovascular complications. Syphilis also increases the risk of HIV infection. For women, it can cause problems during pregnancy and for the newborn.
Syphilis can be easily treated with penicillin. In fact, if you think you might have infected someone else, penicillin can stop the progression of the disease even before an infected person shows any symptoms.
For information on Syphilis symptoms, testing or treatment, call the city of Lubbock Health Department at (806) 775-2935.
You can find further information about Syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases at: www.cdc.gov.