A public health advisory for syphilis was issued for Lubbock County on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

A press release from the City of Lubbock confirmed that in September and October of this year, 30 cases of the sexually-transmitted disease syphilis were reported. In the same period in 2016, 17 cases were reported.

Physicians and other medical providers are being asked to screen those most at risk in the community for the disease in order to stop more cases of syphilis, according to the release.

Syphilis is spread through unprotected oral, vaginal and anal sex and can also be passed on from a pregnant mother to her unborn child, according to the CDC. The main symptom in the primary stage of infection is a firm, round and often painless sore (or sores) on or near the infection site. This can be followed by a non-itchy body rash. The sores will go away without treatment.

The three other stages of syphilis are: secondary, latent and tertiary. Symptoms during the secondary stage of syphilis include skin rash, swollen lymph nodes and fever. There are no symptoms during the latent stage. Symptoms during the tertiary stage of the disease can affect the heart, the brain and other organs.

Citizens can contact the City of Lubbock Health Department for more information on syphilis and for help getting tested or treated: 806-775-2933.

Further information about syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases at: www.cdc.gov.