In 2022, it's tough to make friends. We're still in the middle of a global pandemic, everyone is constantly on edge, and folks are overall struggling.

If it's that difficult to make friends, dating has to be even more of a hill to climb, right?

Well, if it wasn't before, it most certainly is now.

Across northern Idaho, cases of syphilis have doubled since 2021, and experts believe they've found the culprit in popular dating apps.

Panhandle Health District Public Information Officer Katherine Hoyer has more details:

We've more than doubled the number of cases in the same time frame and when that happens, we want to alert the public.

Just like with any communicable disease, we'll contact these people that have tested positive to let them know, but also to let them know how they can prevent spreading it to others," Hoyer said. "We also conduct an investigation- we'll talk to them about their partners, ask if we can contact them to make sure they get tested in order to stop the spread of the disease.

Luckily, experts say contracting syphilis is easily preventable:

We want to encourage those that want to engage in sexual activity to be safe about it- wear a condom and get tested regularly if you're engaging with multiple partners.

Be safe out there.

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