Syphilis Outbreak Response and Case Counts
Minnesota is currently experiencing a syphilis outbreak in the Duluth area. Case counts specific to each outbreak can be found below. Minnesota syphilis case counts by county shows the incidence of new syphilis cases compared to previous years.
Partners can use or adapt these resources and tools for syphilis outbreak prevention and response in Minnesota.
The table below has three columns representing the current year and two comparison years. The 2021 column shows new syphilis diagnoses reported to MDH by the year to date shown (YTD). The 2019 and 2020 columns show total cases of syphilis for each calendar year. 2020 data is now available. For the most recent complete year of data available, review Minnesota's STD Statistics.
As of August 31, 2021:
|MN County||Syphilis Diagnoses 2019||Syphilis Diagnoses 2020*||Syphilis YTD 2021**|
|Lac Qui Parle||0||0||0|
|Lake of the Woods||0||0||0|
*2020 data is now available. For the most recent complete year of data available, review Minnesota's STD Statistics.
**Cases reported to MDH as of August 31, 2021, which includes cases from January 1-August 31, 2021 (YTD). By county table does not include congenital syphilis cases.
Minnesota congenital syphilis (CS) cases* 2019-2021.
|CS Diagnoses 2019||CS Diagnoses 2020**||CS Diagnoses YTD 2021***|
|Total congenital cases||21||7||10|
*Congenital syphilis (CS) is a disease that occurs when a mother with syphilis passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy. For more information about the CS case defining criteria, visit CDC: Syphilis (Treponema pallidum) 2018 Case Definition.
**2020 data is now available. For the most recent complete year of data available, review Minnesota's STD Statistics.
***Cases reported to MDH from January 1- August 31, 2021 (YTD).
An outbreak has been declared among any reported primary, secondary, early latent, and congenital syphilis cases. These cases were diagnosed after September 1, 2019 residing in the Duluth area* at time of diagnosis or reported cases of syphilis that is epidemiologically linked to cases that are part of the outbreak.
*Duluth area is the 30-mile radius around the city of Duluth.
As of October 12, 2021
Data are preliminary and may change as reports are received.
Action steps for providers include:
- Screen patients for factors that increase the risk of getting syphilis or HIV including people diagnosed with HCV infection.
- Review the signs and symptoms of syphilis, as it can be mistaken for other diseases. Learn more at About Syphilis.
- Test people in the outbreak area at high risk for syphilis, including sexual partners of known cases, and those with multiple or anonymous partners.
- Treat all cases of syphilis right away according to the CDC's 2021 Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines.
- Gather as much information to contact and locate partners as possible.
- Report all cases of syphilis to MDH by faxing the Minnesota Confidential Syphilis Report Form to 651-201-4040.
- Subscribe to HIV/STD Prevention & Data Updates.