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Syphilis Increasing in the U.S.

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Sonora, CA – New data shows a hike in syphilis cases across the nation and right here in Tuolumne County, but there is one bright spot.

In 2020, California had the 7th highest rate of primary and secondary syphilis in the United States. More statistics, such as the fact that syphilis was up 24% in newborns in 2021, can be found in the image box graphic.

County Public Health Director Michelle Jachetta reports that preliminary data for 2021–2022 show a slight increase in primary and secondary syphilis cases and a significant decrease in congenital syphilis cases. For primary syphilis cases, the main age range was 20–35 years, and 35–60 years of age was the range for secondary syphilis cases.

The data also showed that, from 2016 to 2020, the county ranked 30th out of 58 counties for the combined rate of primary and secondary syphilis. Jachetta noted that the state has not yet released data for 2021–2022, while the most recent statewide data available is from 2020.

County health officials provide this 2020 data comparison for primary and secondary syphilis:

2020 Data – Primary and Secondary Syphilis

United States

  • Total cases: 41,655
  • 12.7 rate per 100,000 population


  • Total Cases: 7,688
  • 19.5 rate per 100,000 Population

Tuolumne County

  • Total Cases: 7
  • 13.4 rate per 100,000 Population

2020 Data – Congenital Syphilis

United States

  • Total cases: 2,148
  • 57.3 rate per 100,000 live births


  • Total Cases: 481
  • 107.7 rate per 100,000 live births

Tuolumne County

  • Total Cases: 2
  • 506.3 rate per 100,000 live births

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can have very serious complications when not treated, but it can be cured, according to county health officials, by seeing your doctor if you or your partner notice any symptoms, which can be found by clicking here.