A syphilis epidemic is causing concern in Japan, with the number of reported cases in 2023 hitting a record high for the third consecutive year on a preliminary basis.

Additionally, the number of congenital syphilis cases, which result from bacterium transmission from infected pregnant women to their fetuses through placentas, has reached an all-time high.

Syphilis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. Primarily transmitted through sexual contact, infection can result in the formation of lumps or sores in the genitals or the mouth, accompanied by swollen lymph nodes and a rash that spreads across the body. Diagnosis of the infection typically involves blood tests.