ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Alaska health officials say 75 cases of syphilis have been reported in the state this year, marking the largest outbreak of the infectious disease in at least 40 years.

KTVA-TV reports the Alaska Section of Epidemiology said in an update this week that it has requested help with response efforts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Susan Jones, a program manager at the state Division of Public Health, says the number of cases is the highest reported since the 1970s.

According to the state, 64 cases occurred in Anchorage and 66 were men.

The state also found a probable case of congenital syphilis in an infant whose mother had been diagnosed last year.

Jones says the disease is serious, but it’s treatable if it’s caught in time.

Information from: KTVA-TV,