November 8, 2023
The Number of Babies Born with Congenital Syphilis is Surging!
The number of babies born with syphilis in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate. There were more than 3,700 babies born with syphilis in 2022, over 10 times the number reported in 2012. These increases reflect overall increases in syphilis among women of reproductive age.
People can experience illness and pass syphilis to their babies during pregnancy. Miscarriage, stillbirth, severe lifelong health problems, and even newborn death can result from syphilis infection during pregnancy. In 2022, there were 231 stillbirths and 51 infant deaths.
Increasing rates of syphilis among babies reflect a failure of the U.S. health system. Testing for and treating syphilis during pregnancy more than 30 days before delivery can prevent this infection in newborns. Too many people are not being tested and treated early enough during pregnancy.
Testing is available at the Adair County Health Department for various Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) including syphilis. Call the Adair County Health Department at (660) 665-8491 to find out more about our testing services and/or set up an appointment to be tested. Testing and exam fees are based upon a sliding scale (considering income and family size).