Syphilis Cases in Newborns Are Skyrocketing, CDC Warns


New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the number of babies born with syphilis has risen by 10 times in the U.S. over the past decade. On Tuesday, the CDC reported that at least 3,700 newborns had congenital syphilis in 2022, a 32 percent increase from 2021, and 282 stillbirths and infant deaths occurred because of the bacterial infection, nearly 16 times more than the number of deaths in 2012. Babies can develop bone malformations, blindness, deafness, and developmental delays if they survive an infection. According to the Associated Press, it has now become more difficult for medical providers to obtain benzathine penicillin injections, the main treatment for congenital syphilis, due to shortages as Pfizer is the only supplier of the shot. AP also reported that there is no new federal funding going to state and local health departments to improve testing or treatment access in places like emergency rooms. Dr. Edward Hook, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, told NPR that the rise in congenital syphilis was “absolutely preventable,” citing the quality of therapy.

Read it at Associated Press

Read more at The Daily Beast.