Health Department warns about syphilis outbreak in Enid

An STD warning for people in a town north of the metro. The State Health Department says a syphilis outbreak is spreading in Enid.

The Garfield County Health Department says be very careful who you choose to be sexually active with because there's more young adults than normal testing positive for syphilis.

"I think it makes our town look a bit shady," said one Enid resident.

No bacterial outbreak is a good outbreak, but when we're talking about syphilis in Enid, that's an outbreak most people didn't expect.

"I'm shocked and didn't even know."

Spokesperson for the Garfield County Health Department Maggie Jackson said, "Last year in 2012 there were only 10 reported cases and this year 18 cases have come up."

Eight new cases may not sound like a big deal, but for a small town like Enid, any increase in STD's is concerning for the health department. Most of the new cases are in young adults in their 20's.

"That's why getting tested is so important because once you know you can make sure you prevent it from spreading," said Jackson.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that causes mouth and genital sores as well as rashes on the hands and feet.

Jackson warns, "It can pass from oral sex. It can pass from kissing. If you have a chancre sore in your mouth that can also be a symptom."

It can also severely affect the nervous system if left untreated. In response to the outbreak the Garfield County Health Department will be putting up signs around town that list symptoms and let people know that confidential testing there is free.

"I think that's necessary to save others."

To get tested for syphilis is very easy, all it takes is an examination and possibly a blood test. What it will give you is peace of mind.

To learn more about sexually transmitted diseases as well as resources in Oklahoma click here.