Healthcare News & Insights

New STD cause: Facebook?

One public health official is bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “computer virus.”

Peter Kelly, the director of public health in Teesside, Great Britain, claims to have found a link between use of social networking sites and a recent rise in syphilis cases.

Based on his review of local health statistics, Kelly says he discovered that residents in his district were 25% more likely to use social networking sites like Facebook than residents in other parts of the country. In the same time period, reported syphilis cases in the district increased fourfold.

According to Kelly, records indicated that several of the infected people met their sexual partners through social media sites.

We’ll leave the parsing of Kelly’s research methodology to others.

For its part, Facebook denies it’s a disease-vector, noting, among other things, that most people use Facebook to connect socially with people they already know — and not as a dating service.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest and greatest healthcare news and insights delivered to your inbox.


  1. Chuck Norris sniffed coke and made Charlie Sheen’s nose bleed.