Intended for healthcare professionals


Don't forget syphilis

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 05 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:775

This article has a correction. Please see:

Syphilis outbreak is twice as big as reported

  1. Pete Clark, sexual health specialist (,
  2. Penny A Cook, senior lecturer in communicable disease,
  3. Lorraine Lighton, consultant in communicable disease control,
  4. Qutub Syed, regional epidemiologist,
  5. Mark A Bellis, professor in public health
  1. Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 2AB
  2. Greater Manchester Health Protection Unit, Manchester M30 ONJ
  3. Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre North West, Chester CH1 4EF
  4. Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University
  5. St Mary's Hospital, London W2 1NY

    EDITOR—We agree with Doherty et al that regional and national surveillance systems are required to identify increases in the incidence of syphilis.1 It is therefore ironic that the authors' data on the syphilis outbreak in Manchester are incorrect, although enhanced surveillance systems have been in operation for over three years.

    It's coming back

    The medical response to any sexually transmitted infection outbreak depends on the accuracy of epidemiological data. The Manchester Outbreak Control Group (comprising local specialists in genitourinary medicine, health promotion experts, and voluntary groups supported by the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre North West and the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University) has established a surveillance andcommunication system to ensure that statutory and voluntary sector organisations throughout Manchester have access to accurate up to date epidemiological information on request. If Doherty et al's article were the only source …

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