Rising Cases of Congenital Syphilis in San Diego County Urge Pregnant Women to Get Screened

Health Officials Advise Screening for Syphilis During Pregnancy in San Diego County

In 2022, San Diego County public health officials are urging pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant to speak with their healthcare provider about getting screened for syphilis. The number of babies born with syphilis in the county has increased to a record 35 cases in 2022, according to new data.

Cases of syphilis in women of childbearing age have also increased from 369 in 2021 to 424 cases in 2022. Syphilis is a contagious bacterial infection that can be transmitted through sexual contact or from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, resulting in congenital syphilis. This can lead to serious health issues for the baby, including miscarriage, stillbirth, and even death if left untreated.

The rise in congenital syphilis cases in San Diego County has been significant, with an increase of nearly 1,200% since 2013. Health officials emphasize the importance of testing for syphilis during the first prenatal visit and again during the third trimester. Treatment with antibiotics is available, even during pregnancy. It is crucial for both pregnant women and their sexual partners to get tested and treated if necessary.

Syphilis can result in severe complications such as bone abnormalities, severe anemia, enlarged organs, and neurological issues like vision or hearing loss. Nationwide, cases of syphilis, including congenital syphilis, have been on the rise since the early 2000s, with a slight decrease from 2021 to 2022. It is essential for pregnant women to prioritize their health and the health of their unborn babies by getting tested for syphilis and seeking treatment if needed.

County public health centers offer resources for syphilis and other STD testing. Women who are concerned about their risk of developing syphilis should consult their healthcare provider or visit a public health center for testing and treatment options.

In conclusion, it’s crucial for pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant to get screened for syphilis by their healthcare provider as soon as possible before it’s too late. Early detection and treatment can help prevent serious complications for both mothers and babies.

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