Syphilis is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. This highly contagious disease develops in stages that carry a wide array of symptoms. If left untreated, syphilis can cause damage throughout the body and induce a number of different complications. If you are pregnant, syphilis may spread and affect the baby. In fact, the number of babies born with this disease is alarmingly high. Read on to learn more.
Babies born with syphilis – how common is this problem
When it comes to STDs, we usually think of them in terms of discomfort and unpleasant symptoms that the affected person experience. Rare are the cases when we take into consideration the risk of transmission of the disease on the baby. This is a subject that requires more attention especially today when rates of STDs keep growing. According to the CDC report, the number of babies born in the US with syphilis has reached a 20-year record in 2017.
The report, Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2017, found that the number of syphilis cases in babies increased from 362 in 2013 to 918 in 2017. Yes, almost a thousand babies in 2017 were born with this disease. This is the highest number of these cases in the last two decades, truly alarming information. What’s more, the problem is widespread across the country. In 37 states there were recorded cases of babies born with syphilis although most of them were in the West and South.
According to researchers who worked on this report these findings aren’t actually surprising if we bear in mind the steady increases of this disease among women of childbearing age. At the same time, there is no specific answer to why these increases are occurring as multiple factors could play the role.
Reports that congenital syphilis is on the rise could be considered as a systemic public health failure. Today, when the US has come close to eliminating HIV transmission from mother to children, we witness the news that in the modern age the number of babies born with this disease has hit a 20-year high.
Problem is preventable
Even though CDC report showed STDs are still a major problem in the US and cases like syphilis affect more babies than decades earlier, there’s still light at the end of the tunnel. You see, the problem is preventable. Women of reproductive age can have a safe pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. The crucial thing is to get tested. A major problem nowadays is that many women don’t get tested. When it is spotted early syphilis in pregnant women can be treated without risking the baby’s health. Also, some women contract this disease during pregnancy. Pregnant women with it have an 80% risk of transmitting the infection to their baby. It’s important to take testing seriously, use protection during intercourse, and avoid having multiple sexual partners to prevent this disease.
A CDC report found that the number of babies born with syphilis has hit a 20-year record high. The problem is widespread across the country, but it’s preventable. Make wise choices, have safe sex, and get tested.