A SPIKE in syphilis cases has sparked renewed calls for people to have safer sex – especially during pregnancy. 

More than 100 cases of the disease were recorded on Teesside in 2018 – the highest level for ten years. 

Experts were told cases had levelled off this year at Wednesday’s Stockton health and well-being board. 

But there were still questions over access to condoms in parts of the borough. 

Cllr Luke Frost, ward member for Mandale and Victoria, said: “We live in a borough which does, unfortunately, have quite a lot of deprivation and it’s not easy for them to just nip to the supermarket for a pack of condoms." 

Syphilis is a bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact and can cause serious health problems for pregnant women and unborn babies.

Dr Tanja Braun, from Stockton’s public health team, told the panel there had been a lot of campaign work done in response to the spike in cases. 

She added: “We want to remind people to have safer sex, tell them about the risks in pregnancy and urge them to get tested.”  

Cases of syphilis and gonorrhoea cases hit a six-year high in Stockton last year.