Alabama sees spike in Syphilis infections - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Alabama sees spike in Syphilis infections

Madison County was ranked number four in 532 reported cases in the state for syphilis out of 67 counties. (Source: WAFF Staff) Madison County was ranked number four in 532 reported cases in the state for syphilis out of 67 counties. (Source: WAFF Staff)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

For the first time in seven years, Alabama has seen an increase in syphilis cases.

According the Alabama Department of Public Health, in 2015 Alabama had 532 reported cases in the state for syphilis and out of 67 counties in the state, Madison County is ranked number four.

17-year-old Allison Smithler is making it her mission to always have her priorities straight.

"I could easily get sick and die," said Smithler.

Smithler makes it a point to protect herself from catching any sexually transmitted diseases.

"For one, I use a condom. I also make sure I know the person and I also get tested often," said Smithler.

Right now, Alabama is fighting high cases of syphilis, a disease that's sexually transmitted.

"It can damage almost any part of the body," said Dr. Lawrence Robey with the Madison County Health Department. 

Dr. Robey says if the disease goes untreated, it can result in death.

"If it's untreated, it can cause damage to the heart, other body organs and it can do a lot damage to the nervous system," said Dr. Robey.

Dr. Robey says the most at risk are young adults. He adds, there is a cure for syphilis.

As health experts continue to fight and get the word out, Allison is continuing to stay educated and fight for a healthy STD-free life.

"So I can be with my family. That's who I love. Those are the people that I want to be around all the time," said Smithler.

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