Brandon, MB (CKLQ) - The Provincial Government is reporting a syphilis outbreak in Manitoba.
While there's been an ongoing problem within the province since 2014, the Population Health division of Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living is now copcerned over the number of cases in pregnant women is continuing to rise.
More than 10 infants have been treated for congenital syphilis in the last of six months.
If contracted in pregnancy, the disease can cause birth defects and stillbirth.
A lack of prenatal care and substance abuse are being identified as factors, but the public health office admits the methamphetamine crisis could be exacerbating the outbreak.
While Winnipeg and Northern Manitoba are reporting the majority of cases the province says the risk is high across the province.
Manitoba is not alone, as a number of provinces are reporting congenital cases and the U.S. Centre for Disease is all reporting the highest rates of syphilis in decades.
The province is urging all women to seek regular prenatal care and to be tested for STD's.
More information on the province's response on the current outbreak is available at www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/diseases/syphilis.html