Michael Staines
Michael Staines

14.37 18 Jul 2021


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St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin has opened a walk-in STI clinic in response to the national syphilis outbreak declared last week.

Newstalk revealed last Sunday that the infection is on the rise – with health officials warning that a large reservoir' of cases may be undiagnosed.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre said early infectious syphilis (EIF) was already on the rise in Ireland before the pandemic.

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After a small decrease during the first wave of the virus, rates of infection are climbing once again and are now higher than they were pre-pandemic.

The HPSC also warned of a potentially large undiagnosed reservoir of syphilis infections in Ireland as many STI services have been operating at a reduced level due to COVID.

St Vincent’s Hospital is now operating a walk-in STI centre every Friday between 8:30am and 4pm – closed between 12:30pm and 1:30pm for lunch.

Syphilis is a “very treatable” infection that can cause serious problems for the heart, brain, eyes and nervous system if left to its own devices.

Symptoms include a genital ulcer (primary chancre), rash, or eye problems (in particular symptoms and signs of uveitis).

The HSE said early recognition and treatment are critical to avoiding sickness and onward transmission.


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