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Japan records huge spike in syphilis cases

Japan has a rapidly increasingly number of syphilis patients, including among young women, prompting the health ministry to launch a special research team to find out ways to stop the spread of the sexually transmitted infection.

According to data based on reports filed by hospitals across Japan, the number of syphilis patients totaled 4,259 as of early December, up 77 percent from 2,412 in the corresponding period a year earlier, and more than seven-fold from a decade ago.

The infection is believed to have spread mainly through heterosexual intercourse. But the number of mother-to-child transmissions, which has been very rare in Japan, is also on the rise. (PNA)