Infectious syphilis cases increasing locally and CME/CPD opportunity

Advisory Alert

January 30, 2024

*Cette information est seulement disponible en anglais.

To: Local Health Care Providers


Public Health Sudbury & Districts is seeing increases in cases of infectious syphilis within our catchment area. In light of this evidence, health care practitioners are encouraged to join the CME/CPD opportunity below on gestational and congenital syphilis.

CME/CPD Opportunity

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine University has organized a CME/CPD session on Gestational and congenital syphilis: not only the medieval menace anymore for their upcoming Northern Knowledge Exchange Rounds on Thursday, February 8, 2024, from noon-1:30 p.m. EST (please see the attached for details). The session will be presented by Dr. Christos Karatzios and Dr. Jean-Sébastien Touchette. All health care providers are encouraged to attend.

This will be a virtual event. Register for the event.

This one-credit-per-hour Group Learning program meets the certification criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been certified by the Continuing Education and Professional Development Office at NOSM University for up to 1.5 Mainpro+ credit(s).

This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by the Continuing Education and Professional Development Office at NOSM University. You may claim a maximum of 1.5 hour(s) (credits are automatically calculated).

Local Epidemiology

As noted in the Advisory Alert issued on April 20, 2023, the number of cases of infectious syphilis has been on the rise across Canada, provincially, and locally over the last several years. There were 107 total cases of syphilis (all types) reported in the Sudbury and Districts service area in 2023 as compared with 15 in 2018. This represents an increase of 613% over this period. Of the 2023 cases, 79 were males (74%) and 28 were females (26%). While much lower than the rate among males, females are increasingly at risk with the number of infections among females growing sharply in recent years. Since 2016, Sudbury & Districts area has seen a 1300% increase in syphilis cases in females.

In Ontario1, the proportion of all infectious syphilis cases reported among females has increased almost three-fold, from 5.7% in 2013 to 16.2% in 2022. Among females, those 30-34 years of age reported the highest incidence rate of infectious syphilis in 2022, followed by those aged 25-29 years, and 35-39 years.

There were 117 cases of confirmed early congenital syphilis reported across Canada in 2022, with a rate of 31.7 cases per 100,000 live births2. In Ontario1, from 2013 to 2018, an average of one early congenital case was reported per year (range: 0 to 2). Starting in 2019, an increase in early congenital syphilis cases was observed, with up to 10 reported cases per year. In 2022, there was a sharp increase in cases, with 27 cases reported in Ontario.

For more information on infectious syphilis and access to publicly funded treatment, please call the Sexual Health Clinic at 705.522.9200, ext. 482 or send an email to You can also refer to our previous advisory alert on infectious syphilis and its treatment as per the Canadian Guidelines on Sexually Transmitted Infections.


Original Signed By

Dr. Penny Sutcliffe
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer

NOTE: All Advisory Alerts are found on our website.

  1. Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario). Infectious syphilis and early congenital syphilis in Ontario: focus on 2022. Toronto, ON: King’s Printer for Ontario; 2024.
  2. Public Health Agency of Canada. Infectious syphilis and congenital syphilis in Canada, 2022 [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2024 Jan 16]. Available from:

This item was last modified on January 30, 2024