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

Rising Cases of Congenital Syphilis in San Diego County: Health Officials Urge Expecting Mothers to Get Screened

San Diego County health officials are urging pregnant women and 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.

Syphilis is a 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 rate of congenital syphilis has increased by nearly 1,200% since 2013 in San Diego County. Cases of syphilis in women of childbearing age have also increased from 369 in 2021 to 424 cases in 2022. 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 in babies. Nationwide, cases of syphilis, including congenital syphilis, have been on the rise since the early 2000s, with a slight decrease from 2021 to 2022.

County public health centers offer resources for STD testing and treatment. Pregnant women should prioritize their health and the health of their unborn babies by getting tested for syphilis and seeking treatment if needed.

In conclusion, it is crucial for pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant to speak with their healthcare provider about getting screened for syphilis as it can lead to severe complications if left untreated. Health officials emphasize the importance of testing during the first prenatal visit and again during the third trimester along with treatment with antibiotics if necessary.

It’s important that both pregnant women and their sexual partners get tested for syphilis at any point they suspect exposure or symptoms may be present as early detection can prevent complications later on.

The rise in cases of congenital syphilis in San Diego County highlights the need for more awareness about this disease among healthcare providers and patients alike.

Overall public health officials urge all expecting mothers-to-be prioritize their own health along with that of their unborn babies by getting tested for syphilis at any point they suspect exposure or symptoms may be present along with prompt treatment if needed.

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