In this file photo, a rash caused by syphilis has broken out over the patient's neck and back. Credit: Robert Sumpter | U.S. CDC

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is calling on residents to get tested for sexually transmitted infections amid a spike in cases of gonorrhea and syphilis in the state.

Tuesday is the final day of Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month, and the state CDC says it’s recommending prevention, screening and treatment.

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The agency says Maine has seen “dramatic increases” in gonorrhea and syphilis in the last five years.

Gonorrhea cases increased nearly 200 percent, to 686, from 2014 to 2018. Syphilis cases have risen by almost 600 percent, to 104, in that same timeframe. Acting Maine CDC Director Nancy Beardsley says the health consequences of sexually transmitted infections are serious enough that residents “know the facts about STDs and get tested if they believe they are at risk.”