The Virginia Department of Health reports an increase of 40% of syphilis cases between 2015 and 2016. The trend is common across the United States and is a symptom of a general decline in attention to sexually transmitted diseases. According to doctors, the danger is spread not only among adults, but also among newborns, at risk from mother-to-childhood contagion. For this reason, prenatal screening is more important than ever.
Syphilis has symptoms similar to those of various types, which makes diagnosis often complicated. The main features of the disease are epidermal rash, enlarged lymph nodes, fever, and sores in the genital area. If untreated, syphilis can cause permanent damage to both the person and a possible offspring.
The transmission of mother syphilis in childhood is called congenital syphilis and may be lethal for infants. According to Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, in the United States cases of congenital syphilis have increased by 6% between 2014 and 2015. The worsening of cases of sick infants contributes to the increase in the overall incidence of disease. It is also a symptom of lowering prevention levels.
The number one rule remains to use the necessary preventive measures against sexually transmitted diseases. In pregnancy, a prenatal screening pathway may also include tests for syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. In this way it is possible to take the necessary measures to ensure mother and child health.