Mississippi's interim state health officer says the jump in syphilis and other sexually transmissible diseases is due to a drop in the number of nurses and disease investigators.
Dr. Ed Thompson says syphilis cases have increased from 112 to 258.
Thompson says this year, gonorrhea has increased from 4,029 cases to 4,809 through July; chlamydia has gone from 10,787 to 12,802.
Thompson says in far too many cases, health officers aren't intervening quickly enough.
Thompson and the state Board of Health want $16 million from the Legislature to increase the number of nurses and other field personnel.