PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Following a spike in syphilis cases reported in Marion County, health officials are urging residents to get tested.

According to Marion County Health & Human Services, local syphilis cases increased by 216% from 2018 to 2021. In contrast, the CDC reported a 59% uptick nationwide between 2017 and 2021.

The surge in cases has been reported in men, women and newborns.

“Especially troubling is the increase in congenital syphilis cases, which happens when syphilis is transmitted during pregnancy and can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and serious illness and death in newborns,” said MCHHS.

Health officials urge anyone age 45 or younger who is sexually active to get tested.

MCHHS offers syphilis testing and treatment at its clinic in Salem. Appointments can be made by calling 503.588.5342

“Everyone is welcome and no one is turned away for inability to pay or lack of insurance,” according to MCHHS.