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From the beginning of 2001 to mid-2002, 2783 cases of syphilis were notified to the Robert Koch-Institut (RKI) in Germany (1). Of these notifications, 1681 were for cases diagnosed in 2001, and 1102 were for cases diagnosed so far in the first half of 2002 (a 50% increase on the first half of 2001). The annual number of syphilis notifications in Germany between 1995 and 2000 was between 1120 and 1150. The recent rise in reported cases follows a major change in the German syphilis notification system, from physician- to laboratory-based reporting, which was introduced at the beginning of 2001.


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