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Gila County Has The Highest Rate Of New Syphilis Cases In Arizona

Treponema pallidum bacterium
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Syphilis, which is caused by the bacterium, Treponema pallidum (pictured), is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore.

It is Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month and Arizona has a higher rate of syphilis than the national average.

Gila County has the highest rate of new syphilis cases in Arizona.

In 2017, the county reported a rate of 97 per 100,000 people for the sexually transmitted disease. This is well above the Arizona rate of 23 reported cases per 100,000 people.

Joshua Beck, the Gila County Division of Health and Emergency Management, said “a lot of times with these cases they come specifically from the San Carlos Apache Reservation. And a lot of times you know due to school and work outside the reservation, even though they are San Carlos cases, they’ll spread out into Globe-Miami as well.”

“It’s a little more difficult often times to get the people on the tribal reservations to come to a clinic or to a hospital to take the medications to do the treatment,” he added.

This is because they might be in remote areas with inadequate facilities.

The number of syphilis cases in Arizona continues to rise.

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An author, creative storyteller and now a radio journalist — that's Mythili Gubbi. She is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, emphasizing on broadcast journalism with a minor in political science and a certificate in international studies. Her goal is to pursue a life in television or radio that truly makes an impact.She was born in Arizona and then moved to India, so her childhood was spent equally split on two continents. Her love for storytelling and passion for Indian culture led her to co-produce and co-host an Indian music and culture show on ASU's student station, Blaze Radio.She also published a young-adult fiction novel called "Kiara's Tiara" when she was in high school and hopes to continue to write books.When she's not telling stories, she's usually watching them in Bollywood movies or planning her next travel adventure.