Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Syphilis alive and well.(Health)

Byline: Jackie Jadrnak Journal Staff Writer

* Rate in state jumped in 2000 but remains below average per 100,000 people

Syphilis. Speak its name and historical figures as widely separated in time as Alexander the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte may come to mind.

Some historians speculate that both died of the disease. But it isn't a mere relic of the past. It may not wield the deadly wallop it once did, but syphilis most certainly is alive and well and in New Mexico.

The good news is that the state falls below the national average 0.7 cases per 100,000 population in New Mexico in 1999, compared to 2.5 cases per 100,000 nationally. The bad news is that it jumped in New Mexico in 2000.

"Since 1995, we'd been going down or staying the same until this (past) year," said Al Chowning, STD (sexually-transmitted diseases) program manager for the state Department of Health. …

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