Indian nation dealing with severe syphilis outbreak

  1. An outbreak of syphilis has health officials and leaders of the Tohono O'odham Nation southwest of Tucson concerned after 46 cases of the sexually transmitted disease were documented.

    "A huge majority of them are young people, and that's a huge concern that we have," said Christina Andrews, executive director of Health and Human Services for the tribe.

    Andrews noted the number of cases could grow because not all of the syphilis patients' partners have been identified.

    Tribal health officials, with assistance from local, state and federal public health workers, have mounted an all-out effort to keep the disease from spreading further by using community education and outreach.

    Those at high risk of contracting the disease are being encouraged to get screened.

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