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Am J Public Health. 1991 Oct;81(10):1259-62.

Public health intervention in a cocaine-related syphilis outbreak.

Author information

1
Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Ga.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cocaine users and prostitutes are at high risk for syphilis, but disease control is difficult among these populations. During a cocaine-related syphilis outbreak in Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1989, we conducted a control program at sites where sex and drugs were sold.

METHODS:

During a 2-week period, investigators recruited persons from these sites for interview, serologic testing, and empiric treatment.

RESULTS:

Among 136 persons screened, 25 (18%) had early syphilis and 26 others (19%) had recent sexual contact with early syphilis patients. All were treated at initial screening at a cost of $402 and 12 investigator hours per case, compared to $470 and 20 hours per case when treated during routine investigator activities. This program may have contributed to a short-term decline in syphilis incidence in Chester by reducing the period of infectivity of these patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

Screening and empiric treatment of persons at sites where sex and drugs are sold can be useful in short-term control of cocaine-related syphilis outbreaks.

PMID:
1928522
PMCID:
PMC1405322
DOI:
10.2105/ajph.81.10.1259
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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