The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists’ STD Subcommittee released Syphilis Outbreak Detection Guidance. The document was developed to give STD programs a framework for understanding syphilis epidemiology, determining if and when an outbreak of syphilis might be occurring, and determining when additional resources and activities could be needed to prevent further transmission of syphilis. This document was created with recognition that while the work of Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) are generally the primary method used to prevent the spread of syphilis, sometimes these activities alone are not sufficient and therefore, it is essential that STD programs be able to identify those situations where additional resources may be needed. The tools and strategies are put forth as best practices that can be adapted to any jurisdiction’s incidence and burden of disease.
The tools and strategies described in the guidance could be applied to other STDs, but the document was created with the special focus of syphilis in recognition of its’ scientific complexities, high impact on morbidity, and special attention being received through partner notification efforts and funding from CDC.