A large spike in the number of syphilis cases being reported across the province including here in southern Alberta.

The rapid increase has prompted Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, to declare a provincial outbreak and encourage people to get tested and protect themselves.

She says 1,536 cases were reported last year which is almost ten times more than the 161 reported in 2014.

Syphilis rates haven’t been this high in Alberta in 70 years.

Cases have been increasing all across the province with the highest spikes occurring in Edmonton and northern Alberta communities.

In the South Zone there were 31 cases of syphilis reported last year which is up 138.5% from 2017.